These are tough times. No home can survive solely on the concept of “dad brings home the bacon while mom stays at home.” It would certainly be an ideal situation to have one parent stay with the children all day while one parent works to keep the family alive. But jobs are few and far between. More and more young job seekers flood the market. Companies are tightening the hiring process to ensure that they get only the most qualified people. When you and your spouse are holding down good, secure jobs, you want to be able to keep that job without jeopardizing your family life.
But how do you do it? How do you juggle career with your family and your family with your own personal needs? More importantly, how can you manage everything without losing your sanity in the process? The thing that you have to remember is that it can be done, this juggling act. This will entail feeding the “master organizer” in you.
Start with a to-do list.
It may sound just a little hokey for people who aren’t used to listing what they need to do but doing this will help you determine what you need done for the day and help you prioritize certain things that need to be accomplished. Working parents, as you know, will tend to forget many things in a day like picking up their kids from soccer practice after work, going to a parent-teacher conference, or preparing a budget report for work. A to-do list programmed into your business phone or into your mini tablet will help you remember all the things that need your attention and prevent you from dropping the ball, so to speak.
Use today’s technology to your advantage.
Modern technology such as smartphones and tablets, web apps, and mobile apps, will enable you to literally do everything all at once. Can’t make that meeting with your kid’s math teacher because you’re stuck at work? Request a video conference through a free online service with the school or the teacher. Want your tax refund as quickly as possible? You can file taxes online the minute you get your W-2. Need to buy your little girl’s Halloween costume but you’re waiting at a café for a client? Go online, shop, and have your daughter’s costume delivered to your home.
Make a commitment and stick to it.
When you’ve been doing quite well at work, you should be able to get more leniency with the hours you put in. Your family does not always have to get the so-called end of the stick to spend time with you. When you promised a weekend trip with the kids but a client consult comes up, don’t cancel family time. Instead, arrange a video conference with that client and set the duration of that online meeting so that it doesn’t take up half of your day.
Finally, schedule a time for you and your spouse; just the two of you.
Meet for lunch whenever it’s possible. Set a date every weekend, whether it’s a night at the movies or going on a kind of progressive dinner where you eat the main course at one restaurant and have dessert in another. Try to get the grandparents to take the kids out for ice cream or pizza while you and your spouse spend uninterrupted hours alone at home. However you spend your time as husband and wife will be up to you. The point is that you spend that time together — no matter what. Sometimes in the course of a busy career and demanding kids, you might overlook the fact that you’ve got a spouse with needs. It’s vital for your family’s happiness to address those needs.
So how do you juggle career, family, and life? List everything down and prioritize. Use today’s technology. Commit to promises you’ve made. Spend time as husband and wife. Breathe, relax… and juggle.