This month we have a guest blog from Jenny Idle at Baby Steps Coaching with her top tips to help us all balance family and working life!
Balancing your career and family life is hard. You may feel like you’re juggling a million priorities and not really succeeding at either parenting or your career, but you’re still exhausted at the end of the day.
I’m Jenny Idle from Baby Steps Coaching. I support parents to progress in their career, whilst balancing their family life. I’m also a mum and I understand the juggling act and the importance of having a career that enables you to be a better parent.
From my experience of coaching and parenting, I’ve compiled a few areas that can help you to manage the juggling act and feel like you are ‘good enough’ as both a parent and professional.
- Don’t go it alone with routine
Have you heard about mum brain? When your brain is so foggy and blurred that you can’t focus, you forget basic words and struggle to concentrate!
Well, is it any surprise when your brain is full of thinking for the whole family?!
Often parents that I work with are so full of thinking about multi-vitamins and food shopping and toilet training and sleep patterns…..that there is no surprise that you can’t remember their own child’s name with all the STUFF in your head….let alone focus on your career!
Don’t go it alone! If you have a partner, involve them. If your children are verbal, involve them. Talk about how you could have a routine that works for your whole family.
Can you meal-plan as a family? Can you share chores with your partner, or even get your kids involved?
If you’re feeling guilty about not making the most of the time you do have with your kids when you’re not working, how about talking as a family about what activities you all enjoy?
You could write them all down and put them in a jam jar, ready to go for when you lack inspiration. (you can always take the ones out that aren’t suitable that day…like going to park if it’s raining!)
By putting a little time into planning and geting support, you can help take the pressure off and enjoy quality family time, rather than struggling to come up with ideas or clock-watching.
2. Switching off
Sometimes juggling career and family life can be so hard because you can’t switch off from one to another. You’re at work worrying about your children or you’re at home fretting about that email or difficult conversation you need to have.
And when the kids have gone to bed, you might struggle to switch off from both.
Switching off is about creating a habit that works for you. What will help you to tell yourself to be present in the moment?
Is it about physically switching off machines, walking around the block (if you’re not commuting at the moment) and changing clothes?
Or is it more the mental switch off?
Sometimes writing things down can really help to get them out of your head and stop you ruminating.
Thinking about self-care is also crucial for being able to give yourself the break to reset.
What do you enjoy that helps you to look after yourself? It could be yoga and mindfulness, or it could be sitting in your garden with a glass of wine or chatting with your best friend on the phone. Find something that appeals to you, which will help ease the stress and anxiety and stop you snapping at your kids or partner when you’re feeling frustrated.
3. Clarifying what you want from a job
Perhaps your work/life balance is made that much harder because your job just doesn’t suit your family life anymore.
If you’re working long hours, stressed from tight deadlines or have a manager that just doesn’t ‘get’ the importance of showing up for school sports day, then it might be time to start thinking about your career options.
But perhaps you’re feeling stuck in your current role and have no idea where to start with a new career?
You might want to reflect on your career history, think about the values that are important to you and what your non-negotiables are for having a job that fits your family life, like working close to your child’s nursery or school or particular working hours.
If you are thinking about changing career but there is something holding you back, feel free to contact me and we can work out your blockers and make a plan to move forward.
I have a FREE 5 Days to Career Clarity event coming up on 14th September or you can message me for more information about my coaching packages that can help you to progress in your career, whilst balancing family life.