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How to Balance Career and Family Commitments

December 11, 2012

Taking care of the family and taking care of career duties can be quite challenging for moms. Sometimes it gets so frustrating that some mothers give up their career so that they can spend more time with their families. But then there are some mothers who are able to set priorities and able to keep a balance between the two worlds.

Sometimes it gets so difficult to lead a happy and fulfilling life outside of work – spending time with your family, going out with your friends, taking family vacation and so forth. It may come to a point where mothers end up making personal sacrifices. How can we avoid situations where we have to kill our personal goals for career goals? How can we balance the commitments and avoid feeling guilty when we can’t go on a vacation with the family?

I used to work 82 miles away (one way) from home. I drove 168 miles and had to leave home at five in the morning so that I can beat the traffic and be at work on time. I got home around 7:30 in the evening. By this time, my older one was almost ready for bed so I hardly got to spend time with her. My little one was getting tired too – would give her a warm bath, feed her and put her to sleep. I felt so guilty and sometimes felt like I wasn’t giving my kids my 100 percent. I said to myself that I could not go on like this – my kids are very young and this is the time when they really need me so I came up with the following strategies which helped me balance my family and career commitments.

  1. Work Schedule. First, I changed my work schedule. Instead of getting home late, I left work early and brought work home. That way I was home early and I was able to spend time with my kids. We had great time; we read books, told stories, baked goodies, etc. It was a big change for us.
  2. Telecommuting. After discussing with my employer and being the only employee who drove more than 90 miles a day, I was allowed to work from home one day a week which was so helpful. This was like a gift for me.
  3. Prioritize. I tried to complete my work while my kids were sleeping. So when weekends came I didn’t have to worry about completing the project chart, reports and other tasks. I worked extra hours each night to free up my weekend.
  4. Easy. Of course, work can be very stressing especially if there are tight timelines within which it has to be completed. I started taking things easy and started re-prioritizing the tasks and assigning responsibilities.
  5. Things to do. I can’t believe how useful having a calendar with you all the time can be. It helps organizing your day a lot easier. Having a calendar and things-do-list kept me up-to-date and made life more relaxing.

I must say that five changes listed above plus my husband’s help and support made both my family and career life much more happier and fulfilling. I stopped feeling guilty about not spending enough time with my little ones.

Hope this will help you as well. I would also love to hear about your experiences and some of the ways you adapted that helped you balance your work and personal life.

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