When I first thought about this article and having the balance between family and work my thoughts went to the clichéd phrase “work-life balance.” So what is it, why is it important to have it and how does one go about getting it? Here are my views:
What is work-life balance?
The balance that works for one person does not necessarily work for another. My definition of work-life balance is the balance that you as an individual, are OK with to fit into your values and what’s important to you. I coach mums around this topic often and help them to uncover what they are OK with. I see some mums that love working, work a 60 hour week and really make the most of the time outside of that to enjoy personal/family life. I see other mums who stay at home full time and don’t feel like they have enough quality time for themselves or the family. The balance is in your mindset.
So why is it important to have it?
With all the different hats we wear as working mums it’s easy to get caught up in non-stop working. All work and no play (or vice versa) makes mum a dull girl.. or burnt out! One reason for me to take stock of where I was allocating my time was that I wanted to offer my kids the best of me at least some of the time. Psychologists say the imprinting phase for a child is up to 7 years of age. During this phase the key influences are their role models, namely parents. I want them to see how I can work and look after my health and have some fun along the way. If I’m enjoying the journey, I am teaching them that they too can enjoy the journey.
So how do you get it?
First thing is to work out what’s important to you. Write these values in a list and then prioritise them. The priorities might change day to day or week to week depending on what’s happening e.g. major project at work or baby sick at home. Be prepared to go with the flow. The important thing is that the list of what is important to you is on your radar and not off in some pipe dream. Then allocate some of your time each day to each priority.
For example, my daily list includes quality time with hubby (e.g. a meal together or simply a text message that says “hi, I’m thinking of you” if one of us is working late), fun time with kids (e.g. rolling with them on the floor or tickling them as I dry them off after their bath), exercise and eating well (e.g a walk or a 10 minute pilates exercise) and nurturing and growing in my work (i.e. In priority order, a realistic list of things I can achieve in a day).
Keeping all these things on my radar allows me to be far more productive each day as I’m not ignoring things that are important to me. I’m reducing the mind chatter that says I should have done this or I wish I had time for that. The clearer mind allows me to be more engaged with everything I am doing from hubby to kids to work. Get really clear on what’s important to you and start living by it today!
How do you create balance in your life?
By Dina Cooper
As a pioneer in the field of mums, Dina is helping develop professional coaching as a choice for the modern day mum. Dina first started coaching in 2005, following a high-flying career as a Chartered Management Accountant, working internationally. In 2011, she professionally qualified as a coach and founded her company Hoogi, coaching mums locally, nationally and internationally. She has developed the popular parenting series Mini Mind Spas and runs annual weekend Mind Retreats.
Her vision and what she has personally discovered is, as a mum develops her mindset and leans into the very best version of herself she leads her children and family to do the same. Every mum can be the role model she wants to be to her children and in her life, in the way she chooses to be.