What is Work and Family Balance? And How do I Get It?

By Sandi Epstein

Balance is experienced differently by everyone and can be identified by some or all of the following feelings:

  • You have enough time for family and work
  • Life "flows" and feels relatively effortless
  • When something in your life breaks down (baby sitter gets sick, the car breaks) you have the resources to cope
  • You are on the path you want to be personally and professionally for the future

Balance has some characteristics:
  • It is not a constant, it comes and goes as things change in life
  • It has to be worked at
  • The process of seeking balance can be stimulating and a true learning experience about what is important to you
How do you get balance?
There are many components to finding balance, many that you know consciously and unconsciously. Here is my "top ten" components to finding balance. Add your own and put this list in the back of your mind to help guide you in this difficult process.
  1. Recognize that balancing roles as mother and business person is truly work in itself, it requires appreciation of your work (a pat on the back)
  2. Take time to think about balance and how to get it this week
  3. Apply your best analytical and creative thinking to problem solve this task
  4. Remember yourself, your needs, your wants, your happiness - this is the ultimate barometer of balance
  5. Have faith there is a way - donít put barriers in front of possibilities, you can make it work
  6. Flexibility is important - what works this week may be out of whack next week - stay open to new solutions
  7. Know the signs of imbalance, including resentment, fatigue, overwhelm, depression, unhappy family members, dissatisfaction with work
  8. Revisit your core values and live them, know what is most important to you today
  9. Remove, delegate the things that interfere with the important stuff
  10. Find the joy in the process

Also see:
More articles about work and family balance
Executive moms balancing secrets
Breastfeeding at work
Ask the Work/Life Coach

Sandi is a professional coach helping people to achieve their best in life. You can email her at SLSE123@aol.com or visit her Web site at WorkandLifeCoach.com/