Balancing Work and Family
Like most couples you’ve probably drifted into important phases of your relationship unconsciously rather than consciously thinking through how you will achieve balancing work and family together. You may forget to apply your creativity an d skills you utilize everyday in the business world. As a result, your relationship may suffer the most—but it’s bound to impact your energy, focus and creativity at work if your relationship is not going well at home.
If you are a couple balancing work and family—whether you’re two working professionals, an entrepreneurial couple running your own business, or a family with one of you working out and one administering home life, or you’re transitioning one to fulltime parenthood or fulltime professional life—you’ll find that the daily details of life run more smoothly when you organize the operations of home and schedules much like running a fine-tuned business with a solid partnership at it’s lead.
Let me come back to the notion of partnership in a bit, but first let’s look at why running couple and family life like a successful business—with clear value, priorities and goals plus systems in place—makes the goal to achieve work life balance easier.
Balancing Work and Family is Best Run Like a Small Business
Just like a well-run small business has a clear mission statement and established goals that are annually updated and visited throughout the year, a well-connected couple is guided by conscious and mutual values, priorities and goals that become the guiding light for their decisions, choices and actions.
Balancing work and family is a huge commitment. Chemistry and falling in love bring us together; they will not sustain a long-term relationship if both parties are not on the same page.
Balancing Work and Family Tip #1: No matter how you began your relationship, it’s never too late to talk about what’s important to you, what you’d like to accomplish in life (or in the next year) individually, as a couple and as a family (if you have children.) Find the ways in which you “come together” rather than focusing on ways you appear different. Focus on balancing work and family as your core commitment. If you have difficulty with these conversations, seek outside help. Coaching to learn the skills of partnering are tools you can use for a lifetime.
Balancing Work and Family is Supported by Systems
Just as a well-run small business has systems to make work-flow smooth and profits run high, a well-run household balancing work and family requires consistent systems for all the daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
I call these everyday tasks and necessities “Daily Details” because they’re things everyone has to do, all the time; things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, scheduling doctor appointments, date nights, and so on. You’re going to consistently trip over them if they’re not organized and running smoothly. Couples in crisis typically cite many disagreements and miscommunications about running household details at the top of their list of complaints.
When Daily Details are agreed upon and run smoothly, the relaxing, socializing, fun aspects of life come to the forefront. There’s simply more time and energy to play, no matter what kind of play you enjoy. There’s more time to do the things you dream of that brought you together in the first place.
Balancing Work and Family Tip #2: So make a list of all the “systems” you need that will make your Daily Details run more smoothly. Start with one or two simple steps. Work together as a couple and then and a family to implement those systems on a consistent basis. As you feel successful add another system til things are humming smoothly. Ask for help or support from a coach if you feel overwhelmed by all the things that are not running smoothly. It can make life so much easier!
Balancing Work and Family Flourishes When Headed by a Solid Partnership
Creating a rock-solid business or personal partnership takes a desire to work together and a willingness to put the partnership above individual self-centered desires. This mindset actually helps both partners in balancing work and family, while balancing mutual and individual priorities—so the outcome is not only accomplishing mutual goals, but also supporting one another’s individual goals.
As a couple, when you consciously learn this partnering mindset, and you back it up with a set of skills and tools you can apply to anything that arises—you have a lifelong insurance plan for on-going connection, stability in crisis and more fun as you accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams together.
Balancing Work and Family Tip #3: No one is born knowing the fine art of balancing work and family. No one is born knowing how to partner. So no matter what shape your relationship is in right now, make a commitment to learn the skills of partnering so your relationships, both at home and the office, can flourish.