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Tips on Effectively Juggling Family and Work

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 26 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Juggling Work Family Children Life

Trying to juggle family and work is one of those eternal quests that you never feel like you have quite managed to reach. With mortgages and the cost of living sky high, it is now very common for both parents to need to work. As well as this, many want to continue working. However, it can be difficult to find the right balance between work and your home life and not feel like you are constantly torn between the two and can’t do either as well as you would like.

Drop the Guilt

When you are trying to juggle work and family commitments most people find themselves feeling guilt at both ends. You feel like you are not giving your children enough time and that you can’t give your job the full attention that it needs. You need to drop the guilt. Remember that you are working to give your children the best life and set a good example for them. Also, if you weren’t doing your job properly, someone would let you know. Beating yourself up about it isn’t helping anyone.

Utilising Family and Friends

One of the most difficult areas, both practically and emotionally, is finding childcare while you go to work. You feel guilty about leaving your children with strangers and also find it expensive and difficult to manage. If you have family members close by then this is the ideal solution. If not, see whether other friends with children would help you out and then you can repay the favour another time or agree a fair fee. Then at least you know that you kids are in safe hands.

Taking Advantage of Flexible Working

If you are a parent with a child under six then you have a statutory right to ask for flexible working hours from your employer. You not guaranteed to get them but they must consider your request reasonably. Even if your children are older, you can always still ask. By finding a plan that suits you, whether it is part time, flexi-time or working from home, then you can form a way to juggle work and family life more effectively.

If All Else Fails, Change Jobs

It may seem extreme, but if you employer won’t let you work flexible hours and you are struggling to juggle work and family life, you may want to consider looking for a new job. Consider jobs that automatically work better for you such as being a teacher or working freelance from home. It is a big move but will pay off if it means your whole life becomes easier and you can stop feeling guilty about neglecting family and work.

It is very easy to feel guilty when it feels like you are juggling work and family life unsuccessfully. Drop the guilt as you are doing it because you need to, and look for practical solutions to help you out. See if you can get family or friends to help you with childcare and talk to your employer about flexible working. If this doesn’t work then consider a new career path than can balance your life better.

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