Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Balancing work and life.....

Work/Life Balance how often do we hear this concept? I think every professional development session I have ever attended for work talks about this, especially in the time of cell phones and everyone being connected.  So what can we do to make this balance a reality? I will not EVER say I am an expert, but as a full time working mom with two very active little girls I have found some tips that work for me and might work for other as well. Also this is always a work in progress so I would LOVE to hear anyone’s suggestions.  Here are my tips to help you create some balance
whether you are just starting your career or find yourself entering your second decade. 

1-      Take a social media break (Yes I know this is hard, but this is the most recent one I have done and oh my gosh, I have so much more time). Now I will not say you have to give it up (I know that is not going to happen) however, I have taken Facebook off my home screen of my phone and try to not check any social media before I get to work or before the girls go to bed during the week. I will tell you I am more relaxed and have more time when I am not seeing what other people are up to. (Notice I did not say I do not look at all…baby steps here….)

2-      Meal Plan This is huge in our house. Here is the menu board for the week. We make a plan, shop over the weekend and have our meals for the week. Now sometimes things come up and we have to move things around but to have this plan in place is a great way to not stress about meals.

3-      Make lunches the night before For those of you that can wake up in the morning and get lunches made before leaving the house, YOU ARE SUPERSTARS. I cannot get up, get everyone ready, feed, and out the door AND make lunches. So I make them all the night before, in the lunch boxes and in the fridge. That is just easier for me.

4-      Use your lunch hour This does mean if you get one. I never use to do this, but my current supervisor told me to use it the best I can. Some days that means running errands, sometimes getting a quick pedicure, others just closing my door and reading a magazine in my office.  I have found that using this time helps me work better and leaves less to do later at home.
*** I will say without #3 and #4 eating well would be really hard for me. I think having the plan and knowing what you are going to eat makes it easier to stay healthy.

5-      Schedule time to exercise I had a big problem with this after Miss E was born. I was worried that I should not spend the time away from her. After Little B, I realized to keep up with these two I need to be sure I keep myself in shape. Now I do not workout anywhere as much as I use to, but I still get it in. After they are both in bed I spend about 30 minutes 2-3 times during the week and once on the weekend (often at naps) getting in a good workout. It makes me happy and able to keep up with them.

6-      Ask for help This might have been the biggest one for me, but asking my hubby to help around the house has made all the difference. If you are a working mom with a spouse you do not have to do it all. Once I asked hubby to take over a few jobs around the house I was happier and so was he (mainly because I was less stressed). Just remember you have to ASK!

7-      Set boundaries with work I work in education, no one is going to die if I do not answer my phone or an email at 10 PM, so I stopped. I realized that I am not that important any my kids are! Simple as that, if you are not delivering babies or putting out real fires, most likely it can wait. 

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