7 tips for work-life balance for working parents

The key to a meaningful life is living the life you want to live.  In an aim to find and live out our passions and joys, many of us juggle multiple commitments.  Finding the right balance between these can be a struggle. Being mindful of your competing priorities any why they are important to you is key.

Here are my tips for finding work-life balance as a working parent.

  1. Be aware of the changes in your life. What works today may not work next month.  Priorities change. It is perfectly ok to shift the balance as and when you need to.
  2. Strive for overall balance; not daily balance. Life is hectic and we can’t do all the things that are important to us each day; but we can do them all over the course of a week. If I don’t spend enough time with my daughter today, I can make up for it tomorrow. What’s important is that I do make up for it. Flexibility is key.
  3. Let go of other people’s expectations. Say no to activities that you don’t enjoy. Don’t feel obliged to do something because someone else expects you to.
  4. Try to make the most of ‘wasted’ time in your day. That’s not to say you should cut out all social media or television completely, but ask yourself if that is how you want to spend your time and react accordingly.
  5. Make time for down time or relaxation. Balance is not about filling every minute of your day to fit everything in. You have to make time for yourself, even if it is just a 15 minute walk in the fresh air.
  6. Exercise. I know everyone says it, but it’s true. Endorphins make you feel good and boost your energy levels which, in turn, will help you to stay balanced.
  7. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Not everything has to be perfect. Your husband may not have folded the washing the way you would have liked and your kids may not have put the toys away in the same way that you do. Does it really matter? Do you really want to spend your time fixing those little things, or could it be better spent elsewhere?

 

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I love learning about different techniques for maintaining balance. What would you add to this list?


45 COMMENTS

  1. Mackenzie Glanville | 9th Jan 17

    great tips, I totally agree with you on these

  2. Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness | 10th Jan 17

    Particularly love 1 – 3. Really good tips Lucy. xx

  3. Angela Watling | 10th Jan 17

    Some very good tips indeed. I agree with all of these!

  4. Steph at Mental Parentals | 13th Jan 17

    No. 7 – definitely something I need to work on now I’m back at work! I’m terrible for it – if it’s not done to my standard, I often throw my toys out the pram and do it myself… Great tips x #PoCoLo

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 14th Jan 17

      Me too, Steph. I’m not brilliant at this either, but I’m trying!

  5. Noell | 13th Jan 17

    Love all of this! The saying “no” part is so HUGE! As women and mamas we tend to feel like we have to please everyone all the time. It’s still not super easy for me to do but when I do say no to the things that don’t serve myself or my family or things that don’t bring joy I find more space for the things that DO serve us as well as others.

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 14th Jan 17

      It can be hard saying no, especially when you don’t want to disappoint people; but like you say, finding space for you and your family is more important! Thanks for reading.

  6. five little doves | 13th Jan 17

    Great tips. I think we all need to find the right balance, sometimes it just takes a while to work out what that is. #PoCoLo

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 14th Jan 17

      Oh yes, it sure does! Especially when it is changing so quickly!

  7. Mrs Mummy Harris | 13th Jan 17

    Having only just returned to work this week after 8 months of maternity leave this post is brilliant! i’ve been trying to find ways to cope with blogging and working fulltime and luckily Ben is asleep by the time i get home so i dont have to parent after a long day!
    I have wednesdays off so I only work 2 days without seeing him for long! #PoCoLo

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 14th Jan 17

      Oh bless, you’ll get there! It’s nice to have Wednesdays off in the middle of the week to break it up a bit. I call my days off ‘mummy and Lilly days’ and I ignore the computer and phone and just play with her all day. They’re great! Blogging is hard to fit in tho – I work from home so usually choose between spending my evenings blogging or working!

  8. Heather Keet | 17th Apr 17

    Love this post! #GlobalBlogging

  9. Katy @ Experiencedbadmom | 17th Apr 17

    I’m not sure I have anything to add! These are all helpful and doable. I like #7 for sure.

    #globalblogging

  10. Paula from Her Life Is Love | 17th Apr 17

    I don’t work outside the home, but I like the idea of applying these tips to overall life-balance rather than daily-balance. Some days I get more done, other days I spend more time with my daughter. And overall, I am happy (I think my daughter is happy, too) #globalblogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 18th Apr 17

      We’ll never be able to do a bit of everything every single day, and if we do, we won’t do any of them properly. Overall balance is much more achievable.

  11. five little doves | 17th Apr 17

    Great tips. Although I don’t “Work”, I do blog, and these are relevant for that too I guess. It’s very hard to strike the right balance and even harder to maintain it! #globalblogging

  12. Stephanie | 17th Apr 17

    #2 is something I’m really trying to work on. I’m waiting for 168 Hours to come available from the library because I’m looking for additional tips for this. #globalblogging

  13. Barrie Bismark | 17th Apr 17

    I need all the help I can get in this department. I am terrible at this.
    #Globalblogging

  14. Tracey | 17th Apr 17

    Great tips! I’m sure number 6 will give me more energy but I also feel like I don’t have the energy to do it in the first place! :/ #globalblogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 18th Apr 17

      haha that’s true. I’m struggling with that a bit too right now as we come into winter. I forced myself to go for a walk this morning and it did help. Stick to it! x

  15. Oldhouseintheshires | 17th Apr 17

    Some great tips, especially about being flexible. #globalblogging

  16. Eva Katona | 17th Apr 17

    Good tips, only wish I could stick to 2-3 and follow it through. Like, really, putting effort into it and follow it through. #globalblogging

  17. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville | 17th Apr 17

    Practical and essential tips there. Thanks. Love the quote at the end too…
    #GlobalBlogging

  18. Jeannette | 18th Apr 17

    Work life balance for working parents is challenging and I found that I could so easily loose portions of myself in the crazy rush. Taking time out for yourself is critical to ensure there is balance. Great article. #globalblogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 18th Apr 17

      Yep, I totally agree. And often we don’t realise we’ve forgotten to make time for ourselves until it is too late.

  19. Anne | 18th Apr 17

    Some great tips here, I haven’t worked for a while but these days I don’t know how I’d fit a job in with everything else I do. I certainly need to think about re-balancing my life.
    #globalblogging

  20. Lexie @ mommyhomemanager.com | 18th Apr 17

    Yes to all of this! I always think of that commercial that says “having a baby changes everything!” I can’t believe how true that has come to be.
    Thanks for the tips.
    #globalblogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 19th Apr 17

      It is so true! I didn’t think I would change so much – oh how naive!

  21. Surreymama | 18th Apr 17

    Some really good tips and some I wish I’d read when I went back to work after my first! #globalblogging

  22. Rach | 19th Apr 17

    Some brilliant tips here, some I need to take heed of. Down time is just so important! Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

  23. Natalie Dickinson | 19th Apr 17

    Oh wow.. you don’t know much I relate to this post, I’m so going to keep coming back to this! I also have recently decided that I need to start saying “no” to other people more. My time is now precious and I don’t want to give it all up just to keep pleasing others… #GlobalBlogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 22nd Apr 17

      Thanks so much Natalie, I’m glad you find it helpful. Keep an eye out as I have written a post about saying no which will be published in the next few days. Hopefully you’ll find that one helpful too!

  24. One Messy Mama | 22nd Apr 17

    Love #3 and #7… It’s so important to learn to say No and not feel guilty! I need to relax more and just let some things be.. These are great tips !! x #globalblogging

  25. Helena | 22nd Apr 17

    I agree with you that there should be balance and those you work with should support you as much as you help them #globalblogging.

  26. Michelle Goodwin | 24th Apr 17

    I love this. Such a great post #globalblogging

  27. Susie / S.H.I.T. | 24th Apr 17

    It’s so tough finding the right balance – in fact probs impossible. When I returned to teaching last year, I just had the balance so wrong. And I certainly needed to start learning to say no because family comes first still, no matter, and time is so precious. #globalblogging

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 25th Apr 17

      I don’t think it is impossible, but it does change often which makes it hard to keep up! So many people struggle with saying ‘no’ – keep an eye out for my post on that next week 🙂 x

  28. Laura - Autumn's Mummy | 24th Apr 17

    Number 7 is my favourite, I don’t remind myself of that one enough! #GlobalBlogging

  29. Lisa Pomerantz | 29th Apr 17

    These are all really great tips. I struggle the most with #1. Realizing that life is fluid and we need to change with it … Thanks for reminding me! #GlobalBlogging

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