Balancing life and work can be difficult at times.
God has entrusted women to be good stewards of the talents that they posses. As women have increased their presence in the marketplace and gained success and enjoyment in their own companies and high-level positions many still struggle with balancing everything to feel success not only with their careers but with the other relationships of being a wife and mother not to mention the other roles that we have with family and friendships.
I meet with women who share how they struggle with feelings of guilt, tiredness and being able to have the capacity to do it all without sacrificing one or the other. They care about both.
My mother's generation for the most part stayed at home, raised the kids and held to the duties of the household while fathers went to work to provide for their families. The generation roles have developed over time and co-parenting, cleaning and managing household duties have been shared. But many women find that their husbands want the traditional role's of the house and kids to remain with the woman even thought they are also working full time. Anyone out there relate?
We live in a generation where families are deciding to have two household incomes but with the same duties and responsibilities of raising a family, mealtime, recreation, cleaning, budgeting that is a full time job in an of itself.
How can women today find the best rhythm individually to manage everything it takes to work full time and to raise a family? Here are a few thoughts on a huge topic that I wanted to share today.
Every woman should have a strategy for mobilizing her passion, experience and gifting in every area of her life. Here are a few categories to consider when balancing life's priorities.
Live life with a sense of purpose by utilizing your passions, experiences, and gifting. PEG. Fitting your 'peg' into the things that are important to you.
Plan activities together to share the responsibilities in the areas that each family member enjoys doing. I love to clean, my husband likes to do laundry. We both love to cook, so we make that an activity to enjoy together instead of it being a chore to do. If you don't like to cook, talk about it with your spouse and come up with an alternative plan that works for everyone. Perspective and planning goes a long way here.
Create your own tradition of roles that work best for your family, and dare I say that if you are helping to support the family with a job then it only is reasonable that your partner would share in the duties of the house.
Take time to refresh your spiritual life as an individual and together in marriage.
Be in communion with the LORD. Take time to “know” the Lord of the Bible. He will speak to you through His word and the Holy Spirit.
Be connected with other believers that will speak truth in your life that you can have fun with as well work on projects that you believe in together.
When you are together - be present
In a technology world we have to guard being present and not just co-existing in the same house together. Be present with your children when you are with them.
Time is so precious. Spend time with your spouse and with your children – key word “with” can be used for talking, teaching, listening, sports, art, music, and outings.
Be a living example. Teach your children in the way they should go in wisdom, knowledge and grace by modeling life before them choosing the right responses in life circumstances.
Sometimes the best devotion we can do with our children is the one that they read every day when they are with us.
Love your spouse.
Relationships grow over time keep the “knowing” your spouse alive by listening and growing together through goal setting, recreation, family times together, setting priorities with your individual and collective purpose.
Have important conversations and listen to each other.
Show appreciation for the things that each of you do, guard against being critical in your words.
Plan your life together, and adjust as needed. Children grow up and what used to work in the past may need to be adjusted. Be flexible and supportive.
Pray for each other.
Be a good time manager and practice progress not perfection.
Don’t worry about being perfect, but work on progressing in areas of your life that you need to focus on. The point is not to be a “10” in every area but to do well the areas where you play a role.
Life is dynamic and being sensitive to the people in your life, and the unique needs that arise will help you to develop a rhythm in life instead of that “balance” word.
We cannot balance everything – so don’t try. Find the most important things in your life and focus on those and when the other little things pop up you will find you will have room for them.
Prioritize and give yourself grace.
Don't overdo. Pace your life and your priorities.
If you fall down, we all do at times; just get back up and start fresh. Every day holds the promise of a new beginning.
Give others grace too. Believing the best about others gives a rest and peace in your heart.
Do your job well, and then go home. Be all that God has gifted you to be for your company and then enjoy the other areas of your life that are important to you.
Connect with the people that you work with in engaging ways. Taking breaks and getting to know those that you work alongside can bring meaning to the relationships as well as the work that you do.
Take time to rest and rejuvenate.
God has given us the Sabbath Rest for us to reconnect with Him and with each other. Prioritize rest and recreation.
Find what fills your cup back up so that you have the energy and resources for the people and projects in your life.
As women we have many roles that we play and people that depend on us. By nature God has given women the characteristics of nurture, harmony, serving and the generosity to help others and to see the big picture of important things that need to be done in our life and work commitments. My prayer for you as a working mom is that you will find the grace, strength and courage to live your life well in peace and in love and celebration that you can be all that God intends you to be, and to do it well.