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How’s Your Work/Life Balance?

Readers share how they balance work and family

balance-=work-family-friendsTrying to strike a balance between our work and family lives is a struggle. Even for those of us who don’t have kids (at least not the two-legged kind). Sometimes, work can become all-consuming. And, if we let it, it can take a toll on more than just our time.

Thanks to the women who shared their Balancing Act secrets. You’ll see that they represent a variety of lifestyles. In short, they represent all of us. Maybe just at different times in our lives.

Choosing a winner from the great responses we received was difficult. But, since we had to pick one, we awarded the prize to Regena E. for her ability to take a guilt-free break from the daily grind. We couldn’t keep all this great stuff to ourselves, so we decided to share several stand-out entries. Read on, maybe you’ll get some ideas.

Being that I work from home I have an advantage many of my contemporaries wish they had at their disposal. My days are broken into many pieces, I work at my business until I get tired, lose interest in what I’m doing, or run into a mental block. Yes, I know many who have their days planned out by the minute, I don’t. Yes I have agendas but I’m not restricting myself to a clock by timing each activity. I feel no guilt for leaving my work at any given moment to read a book, play with my dog, or to chat with my nieces and nephew. I really enjoy what I do for employment and want to keep that enthusiasm alive, so I make a point to allow myself many breaks in the day away from my work. The moments spent doing something else gives me some objective time in regards to my business. I’ve had some of my best business ideas come to me while I was taking a stroll through a park, giving myself a facial, taking a nap, or just staring out a window on a sunny day. – Regena E.

Instead of sending my two toddler boys to “time-out,” I send myself to time-out. I shut myself away and take a few moments to think about what’s happening. I learn to take things as they come at me, and just roll with the punches. – Jan D.

Rise early!! I rise early enough to take the dog to the park for an hour, come home spend a little time with my husband, make our lunches (a ritual that is nice, not only do you save money but it is a way to show you care!)

Because we both work, we often don’t get a lot of dinners together. We try to set aside one night a way (usually Wednesdays) as our dedicated “date night”. We often don’t even leave the apartment, but don’t answer the phone, or watch TV. I also try to make a nice dinner on Saturday/Sunday that we eat together with no interruptions.

You must also make time for yourself, it is imperative or you will go CRAZY. I work out at my local gym–my one splurge is a personal trainer once a week, but just working out on your own is a great way to reduce stress and unwind from a nutty day before you go home to face the home fires! – Gillian J.

As the owner of a home-based booming professional resume writing business and Mom of an active 21 months old, I have to be creative. I started out with my baby at home with me all the time but now he goes to a babysitter two full days a week. On other days, he is in and out of my office with his toys. I schedule “play times” and “reading times” with him when I take a breather and play and read together with him. When his Daddy comes home at 5 p.m., he takes over everything, including diaper duty, feeding, playing. The three of us make a great team. – Rita Fisher

During the workweek, I try to plan ahead as much I can so we’re not always rushing. My husband works full time and goes to school at night, so our two-year old son and I are alone much of the time. I try to cook a couple of meals and freeze them over the weekend. Then I just pop the meals in the microwave and presto, easy meal for the week. I have also asked my employer if I can leave by a certain time on the days my husband has school so that way I can spend a little extra time with our son. For instance on those days, I work 8-4. If you are a single Mom and use daycare, find one that has flexible hours. I use a private daycare out of a person’s home, and the hours are much more flexible than a regular daycare center. I do practically all of the daycare drop-offs and pick-ups and it really helps me that our provider has flexible hours because I can drop off early or pick-up late if I need to. – Cindy P.

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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