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The balance our lives comes
in many different shapes. For one parent, finding balance might mean increasing
the ability to let others help out, delegating tasks to others or perhaps
finding services that can ease day-to-day responsibilities, such as a pick-up
and drop-off laundry service.
For another, family
balance might mean identifying ways to coordinate the challenges of work with
the demands of finding quality family time.
What about you ... when are
you at balance?
As parents, it's very
easy to become so busy that you forget to home in and consider what is most
Here are seven strategies for balancing your life:
Create a weekly meeting
with your family to discuss household responsibilities. During this time,
review household responsibilities and delegate age-appropriate chores. Hold the
meeting during the same time each week, and review what is working and what is
not. For children under the age of 10, provide a goal chart so they can
check off each task for accountability.
If you can spare the cash, then outsource you laundry, grocery
shopping (there are many grocery stores that deliver) or basic yard work to create more opportunities for quality time. You never know—neighborhood kids and teens might be looking for extra spending money.
3. Plan Your Life
If you want to have days
filled with less anxiety, you are going to need to plan in advance the
activities of the family, as well as work and other significant tasks. Planning allows us
the necessary time to adjust and be proactive about the choices in our lives.
This reduces stress and anxiety.
4. Eliminate What's Not
Look at ways you can add
time to your days. What can you live without? Do the children have to go to
gymnastics this semester if you have a particularly heavy workload? Be reasonable.
5. Seek Quality, Not
Identify five activities
that you enjoy and which take very little effort. Incorporate a movie night on
Fridays. Have the movie delivered to your door, and add some popcorn and a pizza.
This is a wonderful way to have both a quality family event while keeping from adding additional
stress to your days.
6. Give Yourself a Break
Be reasonable. Are you
trying to work all day, come home to make dinner, clean the dishes, get baths
going, read nighttime stories, clean the house and pay the bills in the
evening? Ask yourself, is it possible to accomplish any of these items another
It's a great way to reduce
stress. Take a walk with your family three times a week for 20 minutes.