Have you noticed there is so much more traffic out on the road these days? That’s because school is officially back in session and that means thousands of parents are taking their child or children to and from school, dropping off at ballet, heading to soccer practice and so on and so on. Compound this with people trying to get to and from work.
Speaking of work, trying to manage a child and a business is a balancing act. I love being Katelyn’s mom and I love owning Brigade Bookkeeping. The thing is, as many of you parents know, both my babies require love and attention and many times I feel there’s not enough of me to go around. I’ve been trying to work on the work/life balance thing this year and so far so good (probably because we’re just weeks into the school year). For what it’s worth, here are some of my suggestions for syncing your work and home life:
- CREATE A SHARED CALENDAR – I find being organized and putting things in my calendar, lets me face the challenges coming up during the week. I try to put every possible school event, soccer game, work meeting, school meeting and even networking event on my calendar. This doesn’t necessarily mean I will attend each event, but at least I know it’s happening. Then, here’s the important step, you need to share this calendar with your spouse, nanny, grandparent, etc. Make sure whoever helps you with the children, knows what’s going on or potentially could be going on during the week. Then plan on who will attend what event. If you’re a single parent, I want to just tell you now how amazing you are! Even with my husband, Willie, and my grandmother helping me, my balancing act tips over sometimes.
- DELEGATE – You’ve heard the saying, “you can’t have it all.” Well, when it comes to work/life balance, you might be able to have more of it, if you learn to delegate. As the owner of a growing bookkeeping and accounting firm, I have learned to delegate duties. Now I do the same thing when it comes to life. I have come face-to-face with the fact that I won’t always be able to be there, but I can always delegate to someone else.
- CARPOOL/SHARED DUTIES – This is a tough piece of advice for parents of toddlers to understand, but as your child gets older, you may start to become friends with the parents of your child’s friends. If you haven’t made friends, but you’re noticing your son or daughter is moving from seasonal sport to seasonal sport with the same group of children, now is the time to introduce yourself. Make sure you get to know some of the parents well enough that you invite them to your home. If you have multiple children of the same age, you may be able to rely on each other and share carpool duties. As your children get older and you get pulled in different directions, other parents become lifesavers in balancing your work and life.
- BE FLEXIBLE – So you’ve written down everything possible for the upcoming week, but then your boss pushes up a deadline. Instead of cursing or having a bad attitude, go with it. Be flexible! Sometimes life throws you curve balls and you just have to be ready to hit them back. You might miss your son’s football game, but they’ll be another one next week. Just don’t make it a habit. Remember, children grow up way too fast and you’ll never get those years back.
So I’ll admit it’s a weekly (sometimes daily) struggle to balance Brigade Bookkeeping and my family, but I’m taking it day by day and doing my best. In the end, that’s all we working parents can do.