Ever feel dragged down by trying to juggle the demands of parenthood and a career? You definitely aren’t alone. For her book I Love Mondays: And Other Confessions from Devoted Working Moms, author Michelle Cove spent a year talking to women across the country about their concerns. Here, she shares with TOP the 11 confessions she heard most often:
1. “I’m tired of apologizing when I can’t please everyone.”
2. “I’m terrible at multitasking.”
3. “I hate missing my kid’s big moments, but not enough to quit my job.”
We all have to deal with personal dramas and the occasional crisis situation at home. This is especially true if you are juggling caretaking responsibilities for kids or parents. Most of us don’t have the luxury to take time off from work while we deal with it, so we have no choice but to figure out a way to get through the workday even when our personal life is falling apart.
Speaking at career day, organizing a fundraiser, donating to a bake sale . . . it isn’t that you don’t value these opportunities to contribute to your child’s education, there’s just only so much a person can do when trying to juggle work and family. Before guilting yourself into signing up for everything or going to the opposite extreme with a blanket policy to not get involved, consider these alternatives:
Aspiring to do the best job possible is an admirable goal, but when your work-life balance looks like a sumo wrestler on a teeter-totter with a two year old, it is time to face the possibility that something is wrong.
While it would be great to always leave work-related problems at the office, sometimes that just doesn’t happen. A stinging comment from a co-worker or a looming deadline can remain on one’s mind well past quitting time. Coming home stressed or irritable can then lead to being distracted or quick to snap at others.
Fridays bring an air of excitement to most workplaces as employees anticipate their weekend plans. Yet somehow when Monday rolls around, many workers feel unsatisfied. One of the main reasons for discontent is failure to decide what they really want to get out of the time off. While goal setting may sound contrary to the idea of relaxation, it actually can help ensure that personal happiness doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
If you are wondering why you can’t seem to find enough time for your persona life, or your family is complaining that they never see you, this may be a clue that your work-life balance isn’t balanced at all, and is too heavily weighted on the work part.
If work-life balance is important to you but doesn’t seem to be a high priority for your employer, this might require you to try and convince your employer to change their policies or start and/or expand family-friendly programs.
If you feel like you are constantly shortchanging either your work or your personal life, your work-life balance is probably in need of some adjustment. You can solve part of this problem by requesting some flexibility from your employer or taking advantage of policies or programs your company offers.
But the other part of the equation is up to you—how you approach the situation and juggle your priorities.
If work-life balance is important to you, the easiest way to increase your odds for achieving it is to work for an employer who also makes this a priority. So if you are job-seeking, you should try and pinpoint your search so as to target employers who offer the balance you need.