11 May 2018
Balancing work and family

Balancing work and family!

A clash between work and family life is one of the major causes of stress for working people like us. We are either so focused on achieving productivity that we find it hard to fulfill our roles at work, or we tend to give more priority to our home. This causes problems like tense relationships, incompetency at work and poor physical/mental health.

It is very important to achieve a balance between work and family life. The thought of it itself is very frightening.
I too have struggled for quite a while, but eventually, I am trying to head on the right path, finding success.

For me, achieving a balance between work and family life is a long and often intimidating process. Nothing will come automatically to you. I have learned through my experience that it is very important to make an effort to create the opportunity for yourself. You need to find yourself a job that is challenging but not overwhelming. Also cautiously think about the size of family you can responsibly raise at the moment.

It is important that you set your boundaries – protect your work from the distraction of family and protect your family involvement from the obligations at work.

There is nothing wrong with working hard to earn more. This way you will better your career. However, on the other hand, you should also not forget to value your family and give them the time they need with you.

Being a full-time working mother, many times I do have feelings of guilt and stress because of the divided attention between work and family.

With an ageing mother-in-law, my day would normally start at 6:00 am to cook breakfast and lunch, make the day’s feeds for my son, pack lunch boxes, put clothes to dry, and then take off to work. Back home by 8:00 pm to do the dishes and dinner. A tight schedule like this would make me feel very guilty when sad eyes kept staring at me wondering “when will mama play with me………?”.

Here are a few ways that helped me make sure both my career and family life flourish.

• Rather than thinking about why I’m not with my child, I started thinking about how my role in the company is benefitting my family.
• I made myself understand that I am not only a mother, but a wife too – and that I shouldn’t take the stress entirely on myself. I started sharing my stressful/guilt feelings with my husband.
• I now avoid starting the day on a frazzled note, by getting organized the night before – by distributing the work with my husband. I even take a bit of a helping hand from my 3-year-old son – getting him to put a few things in place, in turn educating him on how one must keep his/her home neat and tidy.
• Knowing that a lot of the routine tasks are completed allows me to spend a few minutes having breakfast with family, before rushing out of the house.
• I communicate with my employer and team – keeping them updated about my priorities. This helps them understand. Unless your employer/team/HR knows, they will not be able to help you. Every employer is different, and only you will know how much to share, but try to be as open and honest as possible.
• With a privilege of getting Saturday and Sunday off, I spend quality time with my family. It is important to nurture your relationship with your family, who will always be the first by your side.

Well, I hope that by sharing my experience and advice on how to balance your work and family life, I have been able to relieve some of your stress.

Be smart! Make the right decisions in your life!

Attaining balance won’t be difficult.

Muriel Coutinho

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