Women’s work life balance is important, especially for working moms. There are only so many hours in the day, after all. How do we give our career the dedication it deserves, and still spend quality time with our kids? How do we juggle both work and home? How do we make it work?
These are crucial questions we want to help you answer. While the right arrangement is different for every mother, the commitment with which women strive to attain work life balance will never waver. Work-life balance is the art of managing your career and your family in a way that helps you feel fulfilled, organized and ready to conquer the world.
However, it’s true that many women are tired of hearing the term work-life balance. The term was coined to identify the conflicting demands women face.
Work-life balance has long been sold women as being the key to happiness. Those who propagate this notion often suggest that all we truly need to do is to simply find a way to better fill our roles without going crazy.
The trouble is, accomplishing more personal time requires a significant amount of work and the term ‘balance’ becomes moot.
Therefore in order to understand the deeper qualms and misconceptions about the concept of work life balance, it is necessary to understand these 5 key aspects of achieving it:
- Define it yourself.What balance looks like differs for everyone. A CEO with twin toddlers might want a different schedule than one with teens. So don’t assume that what works for someone else should be your aim. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. Think through your priorities and how time outside work can be attained.
- Think of work-life balance from a calendar-year view. Consider balance in terms of not only the hour, day and week but also month and year. Recognize needs might change as your family evolves. Individuals with young children might prioritize being home for dinner, but with busy teenagers, schedules shift. Or perhaps a partner or spouse travels, and you want to align trips.
- Remember: You are not an emergency room doctor.Be careful how much urgency you allow every email, text, call and action.Because professionals are now so accessible all the time, there becomes this false sense of importance over everything, because everybody has constant access to you and to each other all the time, and everything is urgent. Is it really? Part of it is being able to have a healthy filter. Let email slide until the morning.
- Talk about your family.For years, many high-powered professional women did not discuss their children, fearing it would look weak to remind others they work with of a personal life or needs outside the office. Their instinct was to not highlight the part of them that is anything but a business dynamo. However, speaking about a child or sibling allows more of yourself to be at work. And keeping family photos on a desk, or mentioning a child’s recital, signals that a personal life is something to prize, not hide.
- No one will provide work-life balance. You must seek it. You teach people how to treat you. If you are responding to email, text and calls 24 hours a day, for example, that’s going to be the expectation. So take responsibility for creating a work life that works for you. Use your vacation days. Set email boundaries.