According to recent statistics, there are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago. Business women are juggling work and family life on a daily basis. Although there have been major steps in discussions about equality, many women are still under a lot of pressure in the workplace, while simultaneously expected to maintain a “picture perfect” household. It is important to note that there’s more than one way to achieve a successful work- and family-life balance. What works for one person may not work for the other, but that doesn’t make either person’s strategy a bad one. Here are some tips on how to create a healthy work- and family-life balance:
- Clear communication. People are not mind readers. Be sure to have open and honest conversations with your spouse and/or coworkers on what you need. For your spouse, maybe you need help with covering dinner one night, or making them aware that you may be working late certain days. For your coworkers, maybe you need them to specify deadlines on certain projects, or you need clarification on expectations for an assignment. Don’t be afraid to express your wants and needs.
- Evaluate your schedule regularly. While some things may remain the same week after week, other things may constantly be changing in your schedule. Take some time in the beginning of the week, or month, to evaluate your schedule and make any modifications. It’s ok to move things around in order to fit major work and/or family events. Not allowing room for any flexibility may lead to unwanted stress and anxiety trying to fit everything in on the fly.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not in this alone. Consider reaching out to your spouse, friends and/or family members for help and support. You may also have fellow coworkers who are juggling work and family life as well, so be open to welcoming any feedback or advice on how they’re handling it. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less of a successful business woman. You have people in your life who want to help you succeed!
- Set boundaries at work. Know when to draw the line at work. It can be easy to get caught up in a project and lose track of time. Consider setting calendar reminders on your phone with time stamps, so you can know when to shut off your laptop or wrap up a phone call or meeting. When does work start? When does it end? When is family time?
- Steer away from comparing yourself to others. As you find the balance that works for you and your family, try not to compare yourself to other women and how they may be balancing everything. Your goals and aspirations for your career and personal life are unique to you and success looks different for everyone. As women we want to encourage one another, rather than looking to out-do each other.
Finding a balance between work and family life is not easy, but it’s worth it. Women continue to make strides in the business world and they are making it a point to make strides in their homes as well. Chances are you have a real-life “Wonder Woman” in your life today. Whether it be a family member, friend, colleague, etc., we encourage you to take some time and recognize women for the tremendous help they’ve been to you and to others.