Did you know that October is National Work and Family Month? It’s a newer “month”—first designated in 2003 by the US Senate and reaffirmed just last year by the US House of Representatives, so you might not. I didn’t! And while I know the month is more than halfway over I still wanted to talk about it, because balancing work and family is something thing working moms deal with every.single.day.
So often, in the industry I’m in, I see people burning the midnight oil way too often. They get burned out. They get angry because they can’t do the things they enjoy, but for some reason they can’t let the pull of work go. Or feel like they can’t. And maybe that’s why “work life” balance is such a hot topic these days.
I found out about National Work and Family month from Kathie Lingle’s article, Seven Ways to Battle the Way to Control Your Own Life, in the Huffington Post. The article was pretty informative (for me), and coming out of a couple of months of very intense workloads, I’m trying live out some of her suggestions in my own life. Primarily, taking time away from work and taking time for me.
Sometimes, in regards to working moms, their time at work is considered their me-time, when really? It’s so not. At work, we’re simply answering to the demands of co-workers, bosses, and employees, while at home we attend to the needs of children, housework, and more.
That’s why carving out time for me is becoming increasingly important. With my life situation, it’s not always easy, and I don’t always get to do it, but I try to make it a priority. Even if it’s forcing myself to take a lunch outside of the office and window shop or putting down the mop and bucket for an hour in the evening to watch Glee.
And I make sure to take my vacation time! Lingle’s quote (following) lets me let go of any guilt I might have had about taking vacation (and I didn’t have much guilt in the first place).
Bone up on the facts about how people who don’t take vacation die at
significantly higher rates and younger ages. If this is your idea of a life,
then you owe it to your family to bulk up on life insurance.
Damn straight. I actually haven’t been able to afford to get away on a beach vacation in a few years, but I do try to maximize my PTO to relax and spend time with friends and family.
So, what can you do for your personal work/life balance during National Work & Family Month and FOREVER?