It’s that time of year again, when the start of the school year starts adding complications to your family/work schedule. A home with school age children is one that has a lot of similarities to white water rafting: periods of calm followed by raging rapids where you are just hoping to keep your head above water until you reach the end of the ride. It’s fun and exhilarating but better when you are prepared!
Here are 3 of the best tips for the season:
- Get advice from those who’ve been there. Posts like “Tips For Balancing Work And Family” usually are written by the experienced. There are a lot of options for advice, and it’s a good idea to skim the offerings with the idea of getting a perspective rather than seeing them as a list of things you must do. Just like you don’t eat everything at an all-you-can-eat buffet, you don’t try to personally implement every piece of advice you read.
- Get an idea of what you are in for. Sit down with everybody at the table with the calendar and map out the school year with all the info you have right now. Some families use color coding for every member or activity so it is seen at a glance what’s up in the week ahead. Put in the regular stuff, too, so you aren’t accidentally planning a double whammy for your day. This is where you get a visual of what “too much to do” looks like and hopefully discuss how transportation will work and see that something might have to be edited out. Many families have found that they need to allow only ONE extracurricular activity per member.
- Get margins written into your schedule. The empty space is what allows you to read the words on this page, and the empty space in your schedule allows you to have time to breathe and connect. People need to have times where they just relax and putter and do whatever they like to do. It’s like recharging your batteries for the next round, or the calm water before the next rapids.
The ability to bring your whole focus into the workplace depends on your ability to relax about what’s happening at home. Getting the family schedule wisely worked out with all the factors plus margins for emergencies and recharging allows you to keep your mind on your job while you are there.