MISSION SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE: WORK-LIFE BALANCE
MISSION SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE: WORK-LIFE BALANCE
by: Jasmine Reed
You just got off work, and traffic is terrible! You’re praying that you can make it in time to pick up the kids from their after-school care, because you can’t afford to be late another day. You make it with just a few minutes to spare, and now you must head to the grocery store and make it home to get dinner started. Once the food is prepped and placed in the oven, you realize laundry needs to be started, because your spouse doesn’t have any clean shirts for work. Amid all of that, you have to manage to bathe and feed the kids and get them to bed at a decent time. Once the dishes are cleaned and the dress shirts are hanging to dry, you muster up the energy to take a shower and crawl into bed. You’re completely exhausted, and eventually fall into a slumber, awaiting a new day of chaos ahead.
Let’s be real, finding that perfect work-life balance can be tough! There’s just so much to do with so little time in the day, to do it. Although you may not always get it right, we did a little researching and came up with some tips that will give you a work-life balance trek to aim for most of the time.
Find Quality Child-Care
Finding reliable and quality child-care is so important and can eliminate a huge amount of stress. Knowing that your little one is in a safe environment and growing and developing, in all aspects, daily, will put your mind at ease. At Vinehouse Nursery we provide all of that and more! You can rest assured that each day your little one is in great hands. We’ll nurture them and teach them skills that they’ll take with them for the rest of their life. If you’re in need of just temporary child-care, websites such as Care.com and apps like UrbanSitter are helpful. Of course, family and friend recommendations also come in handy.
Planning is probably the most important key to an ALMOST stress-free day. Granted, things happen that are out of our control. But I like to think that planning provides a good framework, so you aren’t aimlessly going about the day’s tasks ahead. One thing that’d be a great habit to start is meal prepping. Whether you’re planning out lunches, dinner or both, setting aside a day for grocery shopping and cooking will be so helpful.
Another thing that’ll help you plan for the week is a calendar. Whether it’s a digital one that’s shared or one that you keep on the fridge, it’s a great, centralized place to keep up with everyone’s appointments and extracurricular activities.
Finally, a great way to ease some morning chaos is prepping the night before. Try having your little one lay out what they’re wearing the night before and taking a bath at night, so that way majority of the morning just consists of getting ready and eating breakfast. Also try placing any practice or school bags near the front door so that way it’s just an easy grab before you all head out for the day!
Outsource What You Can
There are so many apps and subscription services out now for just about everything you can think of. From grocery delivery and pickup, to things like Amazon Prime. There are also food subscription services such as Blue Apron and beauty/fashion monthly subscription boxes, if you can’t make time to get those things either. And of course, there’s house-cleaning and nanny services. The list goes on! Certain things will work for certain people and that’s the goal with all of this, is to do what works best for you and your family. Whatever app or service is going to allow you to optimize time and get other things done, take advantage of it if you can.
Create Designated Family Time
Game nights and movie nights are always a popular choice! Each family member can take turns picking the night’s game or movie. This way everyone gets an opportunity to do what interests them most. Even plan for an outing or two on Saturday, such as grabbing ice cream or going to the park! If your schedule only allots for family time being at dinner, then go with that! Talk about how each person’s day was and maybe ask one specific question and have everyone take turns answering. You’ll probably learn things about each other that you wouldn’t have otherwise, had you not had intentional family time such as these.
Have Date Nights
With your time divided between work, things getting done around the house and the kids, it can be a lot harder to spend time with your partner! And often, it’s not on purpose, it’s just what ends up happening. Before you know it, you look up and realize that you all haven’t spent one-on-one time together in almost a month. But, there’s hope! Even though date nights aren’t something that naturally fall into the plans anymore, it doesn’t mean they can’t still happen. You just have to be more intentional about setting aside time to do so. Pick one day out of the week that works best for you both, get a babysitter and go out and have some fun!
Don’t Forget About “Me”
It’s so important to make sure you’re taking time for yourself. You can’t give from an empty cup, so you must fill yourself with life-giving things that are going to aid you in giving your very best. Even if that means getting up a little earlier to read your daily devotion before you and the kiddos get ready for school and work. Maybe your “Me Time” looks more like grabbing a glass of wine and catching up one of your shows after the kids have gone to bed. Or maybe you decide to take a nice bubble bath or read a few pages of your favorite book before heading to bed. Just do whatever is going to positively fuel you and have fun with it!
Let Others Help
It’s understandable that at times you may have little guilt when other people pick up the slack in areas that you’re falling a little short in, but that’s okay. That’s what family and your tribe of fellow moms are there for. Because believe it or not, they’re going to need you to do the same thing for them a time or two. You must allow others to help so that you don’t run yourself ragged. Burnout is real and can be a big problem if not acknowledged and dealt with. You’ll end up a lot more stressed, irritable and just not that fun to be around. Know that it’s okay to ask for help and receive it with a grateful heart.
You won’t always get everything right. So, just remember to lend yourself a little grace and know that tomorrow’s a new day! Happy balancing 😊