Work-life-balance is a lured after concept, desired by most working parents (and workers). Numerous surveys show that parents are eager to make changes allowing them to work flexible hours. The priority for many working families has now shifted from payment to flexibility. In reality, getting the balance right is difficult. UK employees work longer hours than anyone else in Europe so trying to find time outside of work, for family time is inherently tricky. Irrespective of whether you intend to discuss work place flexibility with your employer, or not, there are a few tweaks small you can make to your routine that can give a big difference to you and your family.
Five changes to your routine to boost your work-life-balance
1) Come home relaxed
Easier said than done after a hard day at the office but if you need to take 10 minutes to shower and change before you can sit down and relax with your family then you should do that. Children (and partners) can pick up on moods and will sense your unhappiness with the family routine if you come home and feel burdened by more responsibilities. However, if you're relaxed when you come home than your family is likely to be more relaxed too. Regardless of how much time they get to spend with you in the evening its quality over quantity, every time.
2) Try to share something with your family every evening
The easiest thing to share would be a meal together however, understandably you might not be able to make dinner every night. If it's late and they've already eaten try enjoying a light snack with your children and a chat before bed. You can also try to read a short article/story or watch something together every night. Every evening may be a hard commitment to keep but that constant routine in the evening can become one of the most enjoyable parts of your families weekly routine.
3) Enjoy the bedtime routine
Bathtime, storytime or both if you can. This will be a good time to relax with your children. Your children don’t need full on entertainment but just having you next to them whilst they play in the bath will make them feel like they have spent time with you. Simply just being physically next to the ones you love can be enough.
4) Make one night your special night
Have one night a week, game night, movie night or pizza night. Do whatever the kids enjoy. Just mark one night a week that everyone can look forward to having together. Your family will love to know that there is one night when everything stops, just for them. You will look forward to this occasion every week too.
5) Be present
Make sure that you are fully present for the precious time that you spend with your loved ones. Unplugging, if you can, is an excellent way to properly unwind. Technology notifications are incredibly distracting and can pull you into a sphere of unwanted stress. Try to stay focused on what's important, when you're with your family and avoid distractions.
6) Start small and build up
Don’t try to overhaul your routine in one week, it won’t work. The best way to make healthy habits for you and your family is to make small incremental changes and then build upon the ones that suit your family lifestyle most. Embracing new things not only adds excitement to your family routine but it keeps spirits high.