How to Make Office-Home Transition
Do all reviewing of the work day at the office before you are on your way to home so that way you don’t get distracted at home. If there is no time, do it while you are commuting (not if you are driving, though unless you are making mental notes or using a hands-free note pad application on your phone!). It is better stay a bit longer at the office to finish work you are working on than bring it home. This will help you to try and keep work and home life separate. Still, don’t make this a habit of staying late every day because it cuts into your family time.
Instead, try to finish all big and challenging tasks in the morning instead of at the end of your work day. You can even keep a running list of tasks that you need to complete and as you finish each task you can mark it off your list. Also, schedule any work meetings during the morning hours or during nap time if your child stays at home with you.
Let the time between work and home be the empty gap that energizes you and allows your work to be put to rest in your head. Use this time to tune out and turn off – listen to your favorite music or audio book. Try walking home or riding a bike around the block for 15 minutes to help you unwind.
Routines/rituals at home are good, they help transition. A set of things we do in our homes/office reminds us where we are and we mentally switch to the current environment to adapt. It can be something as simple as changing out of your work clothes. Communication is the key – talk to your partner and children about challenges you are facing. When you guys hear each other you’ll be more likely to find a good solution. If you end up having to work late, try to communicate in advance so that your kids don’t interrupt you and so that your spouse can assist with running errands, cooking meals, or taking care of anything else that needs to be taken care of before bed time.
(Try to) Be Realistic
You need to understand that you wont always have time to be a perfect parent. There will surely be fallouts but that’s ok. Explain yourself that you are not a bad parent if you need to work late. It will happen. Sometimes your child will get sick and you might have to catch up on your hours throughout the rest of the week or you have to work late because you are preparing for a big presentation that you have to give the next morning. It will get to you, but don’t despair. Good strong family relationships can help you all get through trying times.
Be aware of your:
- energy level of the day at the end of the day
- your unique parenting style
- how you handle each one of your child’s needs
Work with what you have and have realistic approach. Not every day is Disneyland and there is no universal formula for work-family balance. Children feel when you ‘aren’t there’ with them. So, it’s better to spend quality 2, 3 hours with your kid then sit there for 6, 7 hours without building that emotional connection your kid is need of for healthy development. And most importantly – don’t compare yourself to other working parents. Create your own family dynamics inside your home and enjoy it. Some days more than others.
Do you have any additional tips or tricks that help you balance your work and taking care of your family?