7 Strategies to Help Parents Balance Their Life Itís time to get your house, family and life in order. Use these simple steps to make it happen. BY MIA REDRICK
Striking the right balance requires contributions from the entire family.
“ Balance to me means that I create opportunities to delegate the unnecessary and purge the ridiculous.”
Is your life balanced? What does that mean?
Do you often say, "There are not enough hours in a day!" or, "I just wish I had more time?" If you have answered "yes," then this may be a sign that your life is out of balance.
How do you find balance in your life?
The symptoms of being out of balance are feeling rushed, hurried and anxious as you take on the daily events. When we are out of balance, we find it difficult to enjoy life. Many times, poor scheduling dictates the quality our lives. Instead, we need to build a life that reflects our values and priorities. I do believe that it is possible to have it all in a lifetime, but not necessarily at the same time.
What are your obligations and responsibilities?
Balancing our lives comes in many different sizes. 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.
As for me, balance means living a life in accordance with my values. It means making time every day for solitude, family and my personal passion. By prioritizing my time according to the things that I value, I create a life that is abundant. Because I am clear about what I value, my priorities are my litmus test for what I should do next. Balance to me means that I create opportunities to delegate the unnecessary and purge the ridiculous.
What about you... when are you at balance?
As parents, it is very easy to become so busy that you forget to hone in and consider what is most important. Here are 7 strategies for balancing your life.
1. Delegate. 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 years, provide a goal chart so they can check off each task for accountability.
2. Consider outsourcing. The laundry, grocery shopping (there a many grocery stores that deliver) or basic yard work can be outsourced to create more opportunities for quality time.
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, work and other significant items. 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 is not working. 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 this quarter? Be reasonable.
5. Seek quality not quantity. Identify five activities that you enjoy that take very little effort. Incorporate a movie night on Fridays, for example. Have the movie delivered to your door, add some popcorn and a pizza. This is a wonderful way to have both a quality family event and add no 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 day?
7. Exercise. It's a great way to reduce stress. Take a walk with your family three times a week for 20 minutes. Itís quick, but the rewards and conversations you have will make for a healthier, happier life.