Carissa Giebel column: Why is balancing work and home life such a challenge?
Jun. 24, 2013
Balancing work and home life is a challenge many professionals struggle with but why is this so difficult? I think it’s because there is no formula or book to tell us how to do this correctly, and because it’s different for every family. What works for one, might not work for another.
I think many busy people try to avoid this topic, as it has a tendency to produce feelings of guilt. That is not my intent. My hope is that you will be reminded of what’s most important in your life, and what you need to do to nurture those precious relationships and keep yourself healthy and performing your best.
We were made to work. Work can, and should be, a good thing. Whether you work inside or outside the home, work provides opportunities to provide for our families, to have positive influences on our communities, and to be an example to our children on responsibility and character. No matter what your work is, you should always do your very best. You may not always love your job or the people you are working with, but make the most of each minute you are working. If you are working for an employer, work just as hard as you would want employees to work for you.
Give 100 percent while working, but do not allow work to take over your life. Come up with a healthy balance. Because of financial situations, you may have to work more hours than your neighbor. That means you may have to work harder to find that healthy balance because of less flexibility. You may need to cut some things out of your schedule. It’s OK to say no, even to a good thing. This has been my biggest struggle. Just because everything I am doing (or trying to do) is good, does not mean it is necessary and healthy for me and my family.
Do not be a workaholic. On your deathbed, it will not matter how much you worked, how much money you made, or how clean your house was. What will matter is your integrity and character. Did you work hard at all you did? Did you make time for your family? Did you take time to play with your kids? Did you take time to talk with your spouse each day?
Take some time to evaluate your lifestyle. If you are married, your spouse needs to be the one to answer whether you are a workaholic and whether you make enough time for your family. Be honest with yourself. Even if you work inside the home, you could be a workaholic. If you cannot sit down until your house is spotless, that is probably not healthy.
While we were made to work, we were also made to rest. Everyone should have at least one full day of rest each week. This day is needed to rest and refuel, so you can be productive at work and home the following week.
You may need to start taking baby steps. First, figure out how to take at least one day off of work each week, if you are not already. Then determine whether you work too much. Ask yourself. Ask your family. Decide how you are going to make those people and things most important to you a priority.