Being a parent, getting that work life balance right is the end goal, making changes so we can work more flexibly, and have valuable time to spend with our children. To me this is the most important thing. Our days pass so quickly and before we know it our children will be grown up and all we will have is regret. All they will remember is that Daddy or Mummy were always at work. They couldn’t go to the park because Mummy had to finish that piece of work or Daddy had to send an email. But that one task, that “it’ll only take 5 minutes”, “I’ll be there in a minute” always turns into just one more task. That time has then gone and you’ve missed an opportunity to see your child in that moment. All you see is a sad face and sheer disappointment.
Getting the balance right can be really tricky with all the things that come with running a home, and earning money to pay the bills. In this country we work longer hours than anyone in Europe. Getting home at the end of the day, chances are we are too tired to go to the park, or help our kids with their homework.
Making the smallest change to your routine can make the biggest difference to your children and to your work life balance.
5 tips to a better work life balance
Here are a few things to try and make a difference:
1. Take 10 minutes to yourself when you first arrive home from work. Try and remove some of the stress by taking a shower. Our children pick up on our moods. Children will pick up on how unhappy you are if you are coming home moaning about the hold ups on the way home from work, or missed deadlines. If you seem relaxed they’ll relax and take it all in their stride. Even if you only spend half an hour with them
2. Eat with your children at mealtimes. This is a great opportunity to actually sit and talk to your children. Ask them questions about their day, find out what they’ve been doing at school and hear about their interests. It also gives them an opportunity to find out about you. What you do at work and why. My daughter always likes to know what Daddy’s been building today. If you are home late and they’ve already eaten sit and have a bit of toast and talk to them before they go up to bed and ask about their day. Show them how interested you are in them
3. Do something with your children. You don’t have to do anything special. Your children will enjoy you spending time with them every day. Even if it’s only for a short time e.g. taking the dog for a walk or them nipping to the shop with you for a pint of milk. As long as you are relaxed and engaged with their conversation they will be happy
4. Be part of their bedtime routine. Helping your children get a bath or reading them a story, or both will make your children happy. My two love showing me how the shark in the bath is going to eat me up! Just being there whilst they play in the bath or reading them a short story is enough for them. You can watch them settle down for the night knowing they are content
5. Spend a special night together. Choose a night to watch a film or play a game. Whatever it is your children want to do. There is no greater feeling than huddling up on the sofa watching a film, eating pizza and popcorn on a Saturday night. Your children will love the fact that they know there’s at least one night when they have you all to themselves, and everything else stops
However you decide to make your work life balance, spending time and enjoying that time with your children is important. Making the smallest amount of effort will make a big difference in your children’s world. Time with your children, making memories together, can help build family relationships and make them stronger. These special times are ones they will always remember!!