Are you balanced? It’s a question that has caught my attention recently and has gotten me thinking. Hmmm….define balance. As I read about it, I saw this question: “Are you keeping pace or being run over?” In my head I’m thinking, “Not a chance” to the first part, and for the second part, a resounding “YES, by a 14 wheeler” (if there is such a thing??). After all, I am a mother of 3 children, a wife, work full time and have a few side jobs including taxi driver, short order cook, soccer coach, school council rep, fashion purchaser/consultant, dog walker, cat cuddler, reptile specialist…to name a few. So I completed the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Work-life balance quiz. The results were no surprise. According to the quiz I could work a bit more on my balancing act! BUT, encouragingly, I’m not “stressed out!”
The words “You are not alone” popped up on my screen linking me to a stress management site, educating me on how to reduce, prevent and cope with my stress. Recent research indicates that 58% of Canadians report “overload” associated with the many roles – work, home, family and friends, physical health, volunteer and community service. As a working mom, balancing demands of home, work and family schedules in the midst of parenting children can be stressful to say the least. Learning to manage and cope with the multiple stressors is important in improving my own mental and physical wellbeing as well as that of my family.
I found these tips helpful in assessing those areas that needed to be fine tuned. Here are a few to get you thinking…
- Start by determining what you need to achieve work/life balance
- At the end of each day, set your priorities for the following day
- Create a buffer between work and home
- Decide what chores can be shared or let go
- Make choices
- Manage expectations about how much time you can contribute to certain activities
My family goal is to avoid over scheduling and to sit down as a family for mealtime at least once a day (breakfast or dinner). If you need more support, there are also many free parenting supports available to help with family life. So my question to you is “Are you Balanced?”
Share your experience:
For more tips and hints about school and anything else related to parenting, or to share your strategies to achieve the ultimate work/life balance, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dial 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
About this guest blogger:
Sharon Cusson is a Public Health Nurse with Halton Region on the Elementary school Team, working with schools and families in the Milton Community. She is an accredited Triple P practitioner and has a special focus on mental health promotion in children.