Even with the uptick in the economy, workloads are increasing and fresh demands are being placed on working parents who want more time with their kids. What’s a Mom or Dad to do?
- Be there for the big stuff: Put important events such as the kid’s recitals, sports events, and outings in your schedule. Being there for the right stuff can go a long way in the long run.
- Family master schedule: Put each family member’s activities on one calendar so you can see at a glance what’s happening and so you can plan ahead.
- Mealtimes: Make meals sacrosanct. These are critical times to connect with the family and where ideas, issues, and plans can be aired.
- Just say no: Consider which activities and projects are mission critical and which you can turn down in order to spend more time with the family.
- Play first, work later: Unplug until the kids are in bed, then work afterward.
- Timebox: If you absolutely have to work while the kids are up, or on a weekend, set a specific block of time aside that you will be working. Stick to the time frame. This way the family will know reliably when you will and will not be available.
- Speak of family at work: It’s OK to let co-workers and bosses know that life outside of work is important to you.
Try these out and then ask your family for feedback. See if they are getting more of the time they need with you. Are there other places where you might be able to find more time? What strategies do you use to squeeze more time in with your family?
It’s easy to say make time for family and family is important. It’s not so easy to do and sometimes we get bogged down with work and then feel guilty about time not spent with family and that sucks our energy. It’s a negative and self-defeating spiral.
Brockway’s list is practical, helpful and doable. Parents who follow these tips will find themselves energized as they spend time with the kids, enjoy that time, reduce both stress and guilt and have a much healthier home life. They will also show up at work ready and willing to be productive and focussed on the task at hand.
Great post! Thanks for the helpful tips and ideas.