October 09, 2007

All This And Halloween Too

"...it is the sense of the Senate that...reducing the conflict between work and family life should be a national priority."

Thanks to the passing of U.S. Senate Resolution 210 in 2003, October was officially declared National Work & Family Month. It's nice to know that the powers that be are realizing the importance of balancing the workplace with the home. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to know that my workplace was celebrating the month with a series of weekly lunch programs, including: Managing Work & Life; Strategies for Healthy Meal Planning; Stress Management; and Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning. I went to the first program on Managing Work & Life and in addition to participating in a useful discussion about assessing priorities and managing time, came away with a few ideas to add some balance to my days.

One of the exercises we did during that program was make a list of all the roles that you play (i.e. parent, employee, spouse, coach, volunteer, homeowner, etc.) and then list what is important to you about that role; whether you are satisfied with the role; and what you could do differently to achieve balance. At the end, we had to brainstorm strategies that we could incorporate into our daily and weekly routines to achieve more balance in our lives.

Some simple ideas that I plan to incorporate:

Family Breakfast Day. It's pathetic, but we never eat breakfast together. Hubby leaves the house at 7am so that's generally out of the question. But I would like us to all sit down for at least 15 minutes in the morning - I think that would be nice for all involved. Giggles would get to have some time with us before everyone flies out of the door for the day, leaving her with the nanny; and hubby and I would get some time with the kids before going to work. It will mean getting up a bit earlier (or being late!) one day or the week, but I think we could get used to it.

Small Project Calendar. I have a zillion things that I "plan on getting to" one day. Organizing my recipe book. Sending digital photos to be developed. Re-potting my plants. Framing my wedding photos. Clearing out the cabinets under the girls' bathroom sink. And so on. I figure if I schedule to tackle one of those projects every couple of weeks, I might have better luck. Neglecting the small projects like these are what makes me feel like I am not in control of my household and not satisfied with my role as a homemaker.

Some other tips:

Use your lunch break. If you work outside the home, running an errand or two on your lunch break is a great idea. It's also good to just take 30 minutes to relax, read a book or take a walk.

Program your neighbor's phone numbers in your phone. I used to have this but didn't put it back in when I got a new phone. It's funny how many times I say to myself "Darn it! I wish I had Caroline's number with me." Especially when we were out of town last week, etc. Neighbors can pick up your mail, keep an eye out for a delivery, find the house keys that fell out of your purse onto the driveway. Whatever.

Exercise and Sleep. Sigh. Yeah, yeah, we know.

Shop online. Saves time, energy and sometimes money. Now that I can do!

Happy National Work & Family Month!

Oh and check out Mommy Track'd - it's the perfect website for moms managing work and life.

1 comment:

Justice Ny said...

These are absolutely great tips. Thanks Fergie.

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