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Juggling Family & Work

all-free-download.comAny parent will tell you that balancing work and family can be quite the juggling act.  While I, in no way, profess to being an expert in keeping all the balls in the air, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past 16 years of working in admissions and raising two kids.

1.       Get rid of the guilt.  You will never feel like you are doing enough for your family or enough for your job.  Take a deep breath, know that you are doing your best, and leave the guilt behind.

2.       Surround yourself with people who support you.  This includes a partner, parents, co-workers and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help – it really does take a village. Ask your children to pitch in, too! It’s never too early to teach them life skills and independence. Plus, it keeps that “entitlement” bug at bay.

3.       Do set boundaries.  The requests on your time will grow exponentially as a parent. Saying “no” to non-essential work or volunteer activities, social activities, and, yes, even family is OK.  You can’t be a good parent or employee on an “empty bucket.” Find ways to rest and restore yourself.

4.       But… accept that you will have less time to yourself and you will have to work harder both at home and at work. (It’s worth it!)

5.       Be a good team member.  Most colleges are willing to give parents some flexibility to attend school events, doctors’ appointment, etc., or even change travel territories, duties, and schedules. This is great and take advantage when you can. But, flexibility is not a one-way street. Be sure to carry your weight in the office and don’t forget to say thank you often to your “work family.”

6.       Technology is your friend.  Use the down moments to get caught up on work at home or other kid events. Just put the phone/computer/iPad away and truly engage when your kids need you.

7.       Be there for important events for your kids.  While you will not be able to be there for every game or school event, keep the crucial ones on the calendar. You can’t get these kid moments back.  

8.       Do NOT, under any condition, bring your 4-year-old to a transfer registration day when the fire alarm is within reach.  Bright red buttons are just too tempting to push!

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