How Work and Family Life Get Out of Balance and How to Fix It

There are 24 hours in a single day, and, hopefully, at least seven of those hours are taken up by sleep. That math means 17 hours are left, and of that 17 at least seven more go to work and school.  Now the available hours are down to ten. As the math continues with the additions of activities like getting ready and commuting and the subtraction of time, it is easy to see how a daily schedule can skew more in the direction of work on some days and in the direction of living life on other days, and maintaining a balance is the key to living a happy and healthy life. 

How does life get out of balance?

Work Isn’t Turned Off

Some people in stressful careers struggle to release the stresses of the day when they get home in the evening. When working under pressure, staying late or taking work home may seem commonplace and necessary, but those extra working hours are hours that get subtracted from the ten hours you have available for your family. Even not physically working but holding onto the stresses of the day and thinking about them can distract a spouse or parent from the people who matter most to them. 

Turning the work off when walking through the door of the home is important, and if you just can’t get past something that happened during the day take time to talk about it with the people around you. Ask for their help and talk it out so that you can move forward and enjoy time together. It also helps to have a work-to-home routine to practice each day when getting home from work. It could be changing from work clothes into lounging clothes or pouring a glass of your favorite afternoon beverage. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should get you into an “I’m at home, and I don’t have to be anything but spouse and/or parent now” kind of mood. Leave manager, administrator, etc. in the car. 

By making a true transition from work to home, it will be easier for you to slip into the role of spouse or parent, which are the roles your people love you most in any way. Each family member has had a full day of activity away from you, and some of them may have had great days while others had terrible ones. Try to make time for everyone by asking about their days, participating in activities they enjoy or helping them wrap up some chores. The goal is to spend quality time together.