I have a great deal of experience in the art of balancing work with home life. When I was the mother of young children, I pursued my doctorate in clinical psychology. It was no easy task to take care of the demands of running a household, a full-time load of coursework in a PhD program, and still find some time to spend with my husband, children, and myself.
I would not have been able to do it without the support of my husband and kids. I wrote in an earlier post about the necessity of sharing responsibilities in a household. If my husband and children hadn’t stepped up to the plate, we would not have pulled through.
Women today face the same challenges I did back then. Factoring in work, education, raising children, being a spouse, and running a household, it is extremely difficult for women to find any time for themselves. Women CAN do it all, and today I will share some tips on how to do just that.
The first thing a woman has to realize is that she does not have to be solely responsible for keeping the place clean, feeding everyone, and taking care of the children’s needs. We need to give our husbands some credit and recognize that not only are they capable of taking care of many of these responsibilities, they also often yearn for them, particularly in regard to the children. Divvy up all the duties between you and your partner and include the children as much as possible. My children started doing their own laundry as soon as they could reach the button on the machine!
Another component to successfully balancing work and personal demands is to get yourself organized! Keep a detailed calendar and plan out your activities week to week. Having a bird’s-eye view of what your week will look like before it starts will help you keep focused and on track.
Include personal time on your weekly calendar each and every week. Give yourself some time to do something you enjoy that you will do alone at least once a week. Maybe you want to take a class at the gym or head to the yoga studio. Maybe you want to see a movie or have lunch with a girlfriend. Whatever it is, take the time to do it on a regular basis! Taking some time out for yourself is critical to your mental well-being and happiness.
Being able to switch gears is both a valuable habit and useful in the balancing act. When your work is done, it is done. When it is time to be with the kids or your spouse, be there. Don’t sell yourself or your loved ones short by not being fully present. Avoid being distracted by your email or phone during family activities.
How do you manage to do it all? Share your thoughts with me!
-Dr. Erica Miller