The infamous work-life dilemma. I often wonder how full-time working moms and dads manage their time so effectively, when I have a hard time managing working full time with a husband and a dog, but no kids. Think about it – the typical full-time employee works 40 hours per week. But really, add in a commute each way, which can range from minutes to hours, and then add in the time it takes to get dressed and ready in the morning, make breakfast and pack a lunch. Now you’re up to another ten hours per week, if not twenty. And many people actually work more than 40 hours per week, especially management level employees, or those who work on commission.
If you make dinner when you get home from work, and then throw in an exercise routine a few days a week (if not daily), and sleep eight hours a night, what time do you have left to spend with your loved ones? Sure most people get the weekends off, but there’s housework, laundry, home improvement projects, mowing the lawn, car repairs, and bill paying, amongst several other weekly errands that must be completed. If you haven’t done the math yet, I’m having a hard time figuring out when working parents get any free time to just relax with their families!
So, what’s the answer? How do they do it? Here’s a few ways to balance the work-life dilemma.
- Spend time with your family while doing your weekly chores and/or workouts.
If you and your family all enjoy sports, play sports together after work or on the weekends. Toss a ball around, take a hike at a local park, or take your dog for a long walk together. This allows you to all get a healthy dose of exercise, while still spending time together.
Incorporate your family into your household chores and complete them as a team. If you make dinner, have your significant other or kids help you with cutting up veggies or plating everything. This will give you the opportunity to catch up with them about their day.
- Consider working from home if it’s an option.
Even if it’s only one day per week, it might be wise to talk to your manager about working from home if your position is one that allows that. Working from home allows you to complete some household chores during the week that would normally get done on the weekend, taking away valuable time from your loved ones. But if you don’t have to spend time getting ready and commuting in the mornings, you will have extra time to throw in a load of laundry or clean up the dishes from breakfast. You can even get a jumpstart on dinner, allowing you more time to enjoy with your family when they get home from work or school. Working from home also is a great way to get work done without being frequently distracted or interrupted by other folks in the office.
I’m sure there are many more ways that working parents have figured out how best to manage their time so that they are productive employees and great moms and dads. It’s a difficult balance, and one that generations past never had to face. The upcoming election should prove interesting in this arena with both parties touting different versions of paid family and medical leave situations. We shall see what the future holds!
Let us know how you manage your work-life balance. Tweet us @TheDavisCos!