Why Work-Life Balance is so Important

L.A. Strucke

Because children grow up fast

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I once knew a workaholic. After the sunset and his coworkers went home, he was still at his desk. His family ate dinner alone almost every night. Sometimes the children would stay up late to catch a glimpse of their father. The next day they’d nod off in school. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last.

He couldn’t understand why his marriage was over. He thought it would be perfectly fine to work seven days a week. He missed his children’s soccer games, plays, and special moments at home.

Children grow up without you.

Time flashes by and children grow up. A neglected partner grows bitter, and marriage suffers. Children become distant and resentful young adults, still angry at the parent who ignored them. Unfortunately, you can never relive those special moments again. Time sweeps them away.

If you see yourself in this situation, it’s never too late to make a change.

There was a man who worked six days a week. That weekend he announced he was going to work that Sunday too.

“Even God took a day off,” said his wife.

He dressed for work anyway. That Sunday morning, he slipped on an icy sidewalk and twisted his ankle. Then he was forced to take time off.

Employers care about their company, not you.

No matter how hard-working or loyal an employee is, it won’t matter if their company thinks their irrelevant. When it comes to the business world, employers will always do what’s best for their business. You could devote twenty years to a company that will cut you off the second they decide you are no longer useful.

Do you want to sacrifice your family life on the altar of a business that will clean out your desk the day you leave? They won’t even remember your name a year later.

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Don’t miss the special moments of your life.

The secret to a fulfilling life is a work-life balance. It’s crucial to be there for those spontaneous family moments that no one can plan. Your one-year-old won’t wait until ten pm when you get home to take her first steps. Your son needs your mathematical skills to help with his homework now. They can’t stay up all night waiting for you to walk in the door. Your spouse needs you around to provide love and support. Two parents working in synergy to raise a family is the ideal. Don’t vanish on the people who need you.

People remember when you didn’t show up.

People will remember the times that you weren’t there for them. They always remember if you didn’t prioritize them. When you don’t show up for a soccer game or a piano recital, children remember. They remember the dinners they ate alone with the other parent. They remember when you didn’t play catch with them or listen to their problems.

I remember performing on the piano in a showcase at my high school. Other parents showed up with friends and brought flowers, to celebrate their children. I was alone, with no support from family. It made me feel unimportant to them. No one cared enough to be there for me.

Work and family should get equal time.

I am not saying to stop working and achieving in life. Making sure your children have food, shelter, and clothing is most important. But remember to set clear boundaries for work to prevent it from becoming the only focus in your life. Don’t use work to escape problems. Don’t use it as an excuse to avoid spending time with your loved ones. Contrary to popular thought, research has shown that workaholics are not more productive than other people. Their minds never get the needed breaks to generate new ideas.

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When you are forced to work two or three jobs.

Many people are struggling as single parents, and have to work to keep a roof over their heads. You can make the best of that situation.

When home with family, make the moments matter. Tell them how much you care and have fun with them as much as you can. Devise a plan to lift yourself out of poverty so you can be there for them in the future.

Ask your family and friends to help. People need that village of support. You can secure financial aid and take on-line courses to get a certificate or degree in a career that will help you earn more money, so you can be home more. You can work remote jobs, so you can see family more.

Things are never as hopeless. Money’s important, but the time spent with your loved ones is priceless.

Some ways to achieve home-life balance:

  • Schedule time for important family events.
  • Arise early in the morning and set a routine work schedule.
  • Be present for at least one family meal daily.
  • When traveling on business, video chat with your family.
  • When working remotely, establish a definite end time to work hours. When you’re finished for the day, shift your focus totally on yourself and your family.
  • Give quality time alone to each member of your family.
  • No cell phone use during family time.
  • Contribute to family chores.
  • Communicate frequently with your partner to see where you can each improve
  • Take family vacations as much as possible.
  • Consider your spouse and children when accepting jobs that may dramatically impact the lives of your family members. Consult with your spouse before making a decision.
  • Develop interests outside of work, especially activities you can do with the family.

Applying these changes will help bring more happiness to your personal life. You’ll benefit from stronger relationships with your spouse and children. And someday when you need them, your loving family will be there for you too.

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