I have worked since the day I got married….literally. Balancing work and family has been an art that has been developed in my life through trial and error. There have been days where I have been able to get to work on time, the the kids went to school happy, came home and cooked baryani and finished that evening with family dinner. Yet there have been so many nights that I had gone to sleep feeling guilty and upset as I had been late to work that day as one of the kids came down with flu, kids ended up being late to school, I forgot to take the kids to an appointment, and dinner would only be a take away from outside. Does this mean that I have lost it?
After 15 years I have learned that art is find a balance between the good days and the bad days. Not to let the bad days act as a guilt in ruiningruining the good days. I do understand it is overwhelming when you start to work, especially when you move to a new country like Canada, and you necessarily do not have any family support system.
I have received many queries on how I find a work life balance. So I’m taking this opportunity to start a series called ‘balancing work and family, desi style’
Today I want to tell you about the most important skill that I have developed for balancing work and family. …… Drumroll……’ORGANIZING’.
Here are my 3 tips on how I use the skill of organising in finding the balance between work and family.
1. Make a calendar for balancing work and family
As long as I can remember I have been making a calendar for myself. I think I got this skills from my dad who was always making lists and deadline reminders.
My most favorite way for making a calendar for my family is to download a template for the month, and add all of our appointments on it. Adding days off, allows the kids and myself to plan our free time better. I also record when is the Quran class for the kids, as well as, when the homework is due.
Overall it is a calendar with everyone’s deadlines. I keep it in the kitchen, which is the central place for meeting for the family, as with most Canadian houses. This allows everyone to view what is coming up next.
Just today I purchased A reusable calendar from chapters, in the hope of minimizing paper wastage. I bought the calendar decal from Indigo Chapters.
2. Adjust the calendar for balancing work and family
Once you have made the calendar at the beginning of the month, don’t be shy of updating it as you move through the month. We as a family keep adding our appointments and removing canceled plans from the calendar. This is most important as it makes keeping a calendar more effective.
I do know that a lot of families like to make calendars online and share them. You can easily do it with Google, as well as any smartphone, like the iPhone icalender. Why I prefer printed or written hardcopy, is because I want it to be easily accessible to my young kids.
3. Maintain the habit of following the calendar for balancing work and family
Making the calendar ones would not it make you successful in balancing work and family. It is the habit of the building this calendar every month that will get you the results. So believe me when I tell you that this actually works, as I have been doing this for the last five years for surviving and succeeding at Canadian life.
Once upon a time my husband would laugh at the calenders that I would make. Nowadays he relies on them as much as I do. This has definitely made life easier for all of us, especially my husband and myself, who both work full time and are dedicated to balancing work and family.
Do you keep a calender for your family?