Managing Family and Career
Our family is constantly on the go. Our children are active in school, play sports and belong to a travel soccer club. My husband’s job may require evening or weekend work and he has a ‘side business’ as well. I work a full time job and manage a growing private practice. We are often asked how we manage. The underlining question is really “how do you manage and seem happy all the time.” We have our moments of aggravation, but we work them out by using a formula. I would like to share this formula.
1.> Have clear priorities . Family is our first and foremost priority. My husband and I build our schedule around our children and their needs. Now that they are teenagers, they don’t need us for everything. However, we have to travel occasionally to check on our elderly parents. Our commitment to our children and family focuses our actions and behaviors. If an event or activity does not fit within this priority, then we don’t do it.
2.> Plan and use a family calendar . Planning is always an issue for families. Our family uses Cozi Calendar which allows each of us to have an immediate view of everyone’s day. My husband and I will sit down weekly to review the day and remind each other of the day’s activities while we are dressing in the morning. If there are any changes, Cozi will send an email or calendar update.
3.> Sync our work, school and family calendars. We have to juggle four different calendars. We sync our calendars so that we have a clear view of our family’s activities. By syncing our calendars, we can coordinate our family’s movement.
4.> Respect our individual work to home transition ritual . A work to home or school to home transition ritual is vital for each member of the family. Everyone needs an opportunity to shake the work/school dirt off; clear our minds of work/school clutter; and ease into the pace of home.
5.> Enjoy quality family time . Every moment together is precious and should be treated as such. Focusing on making positive memories keeps our lives in perspective.
6.> Respect dedicated homework and work at home time. Each member of our household has daily homework or work tasks. We have learned to communicate clearly our individual needs for time and privacy.
M.L. Bailey Consultants, Inc. provides mentoring and self care resources to social workers, licenced clinicians and others in the helping profession.