Work/Life Issues Are a Family Affair
Here's how to keep things in balance:
We're seeing a lot of role reversals these days: The primary breadwinner gets laid off, both spouses look for work and the one who'd stayed at home finds a job first. If that happens, your attitude and expectations make all the difference in making a smooth transition.
"When roles reverse, and the opposite parent is at home, it's important to also revise expectations at home," says Natalie Gahrmann, a work/life coach and owner of N-R-G Coaching Associates. Accept that there will be changes to the way the household is run, and roll with them.
Establishing priorities for both home and work will take you a long way. Think about what matters most, then make choices that reflect that, understanding that it's not humanly possible to do everything and trying will only leave you burned out. Consider posting a list of what's important to you. Don't skimp on habits that might seem like a waste of time, like exercise, Natalie says.
No matter what age they are, kids notice a shift in schedule. But more than noticing that you're not home as often as you once were, for instance, they notice when you're overloaded, Ellen says. "I did a study of how children see their employed fathers and mothers, and I asked kids what their one wish would be if they could change how their mother or father's work affected their lives. They didn't wish for more time, but rather for them to be less tired and stressed."
Kids are little detectives, and if you're overextended, it affects them too. Try explaining what is happening. "Children are more resilient than most adults give them credit for," Natalie says.
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Bring the passion back into your career.