From juggling upcoming events and travel plans to managing housework, your spouse, children and pets, finding work-life balance can be a struggle. It can be equally difficult to find personal time or a moment to visit with friends. Consider these tips to keep your home life—and your sanity—intact.
1. Create a family calendar.
Meredith Martini, CEO of PlayWorks Group (a teambuilding company in Atlanta) and a work-from-home mother to 7- and 10-year-old daughters, has a shared Microsoft Outlook calendar with her husband. All four family members have a different color, so it’s easy to track each person’s activities and discover any gaps in transportation or child care.
2. When possible, incorporate family into work and travel.
For David Jacobson, father to a 2- and 4-year-old and president of TrivWorks, a New York City-based teambuilding company, that means having his wife join him at some of his events, or having his children pose for a silly photograph he posts to social media while he’s preparing for events. “Find creative ways to involve your family in your work,” he says. When it comes to traveling, Martini says she and her husband will “divide and conquer” trips so one of them is always home with the children. If it’s a great destination, such as Puerto Rico, they bring the kids along.
3. Let go of perfection.
“It’s a myth that you can do it all,” says Patrice Trusdell, mother of three and vice president of Boggs Chung Incorporated, a Pennsylvania-based meetings, conferences and events management company. “Just as you set priorities of what you need to do for a program or an event, be realistic if you set a goal at home. If you want to do two things when you get home from work, do them; rejoice; and then stop.”
4. Divide and conquer.
Martini partners with other work-from-home mothers to share responsibility for picking up children, which helps when she’s on the road. She also created a supper club with another family with four children, and they alternate cooking once a week. “It sounds crazy, but it works out with big-batch cooking,” she says.
To manage her work and still be involved in her teenager’s activities, Trusdell partners with a co-chaperone for their church teen group. Trusdell chaperones events August through December, while other parents handle events January through May during her busy season.