Yes, you can do it.
I have a challenge for you–see the bottom of my post for more details.
Conscientious mothers and fathers struggle constantly to find the right balance between spending energies at work and at home. The truth is, the struggle is good, because it keeps us attentive to our kids’ needs as well as to the needs of our coworkers or staff. I have discovered some tricks that I use to keep my work/life balanced and I thought that you might find them helpful.
First, learn to flip an “On” and “Off” switch in your mind as you transition from work to home and vice versa. Many of us waste a lot of precious time when we move from one venue to another but never mentally leave the spot we just left. For instance, on the car ride home, make a conscious effort to turn your mind off of work. Take that time to refocus on what’s going on at home. The payoff is tremendous because this allows you to walk into the house and really be present with your kids. The more present you are emotionally, the richer your time will be with them.
Second, set realistic goals. Be tough on yourself. When my kids were in school and I was working, I never committed to any evening activities. None. No PTA, business meetings, book clubs. This sounds harsh, but we must remember that the years we have our children home are limited. After they are gone, we have more than enough evenings free to do whatever we like. So, cut things from your evenings and give yourself some breathing room.
Set electronic free times. This means, turning off your iPhone, laptop, iPod, even the television to bring some quiet into your home. Too much stimulation subconsciously creates underlying anxiety. I have found that cutting electronics not only brings quiet, but it forces us to not drag work home. It’s hard to set clear work-free times when electronics give us constant access to work. So turn them off.
Ask your kids if they are getting enough of your time. Kids will tell you how you’re doing. If they don’t get enough of you, they’ll act snarly, reclusive and avoid you. So, if your kids engage you and come and go easily when you are around, chances are good that you’re balanced. If you have any questions, have a heart to heart with them and ask them to do things with you. Then, ask if they feel they are receiving enough attention from you. They will love it.
Do one of the above three things TONIGHT. Come back here and write about it the next day. Up to the challenge? Leave me a comment here and I’ll keep you accountable by asking you how it went the next day. 🙂