Tag: "Relationship"

Get Work Life Balance - First find your priorities in life

Get Work Life Balance – First find your priorities in life

Is your life out of balance? Does your work life feel like it does not fit? But how to get it right?

Start by defining your priorities. Yes, you do have to make a choice. Coach Anna Meller created a fantastic tool to made a fantastic tool to help you The Work Life Balance Workbook

Can you still have a good relationship after children?

Can you still have a good relationship after children?

Actually you can! And it’s not just for you, you do it for them. We working mums often think that when the focus isn’t directly on our children that somehow they are losing out. And if they’re old enough to talk, they’ll certainly tell you that that’s the case… When we’re at work and they’re at home, they lose out. When we’re out in the evening at seminar/night class and they’re at home, they’re missing out. It even extends to our relationship with their dad. When we’re spending time with our “other halves” , the kids are missing out.

Is this really the case, are the children really missing out? If you’ve read any of the previous blogs in this five-part series, you’ll know that it’s not. Investing in yourself IS investing in your family. And here’s why investing in your relationship with your partner is also investing in the family.

The children are happy when the family unit is happy so your relationship with your partner is as important as your direct relationship with your children. And let’s face it, any partnership or marriage isn’t easy – there’s a lot of things to work through. Also, too much focus directly on the child can actually be detrimental. (The real world doesn’t work that way – they’re not the centre of the universe and the sooner they learn that the better off they’ll be). Keeping the flame alive has other advantages as well – the children will eventually grow up and leave home (trust me, it does happen!) so it will be just the two of you again so it’s good practice for the future.

During most of the film: ‘I don’t know how she does it’, Kate Redding played by Sarah Jessica Parker treats her husband Richard like a second class citizen or worse yet, a totally incompetent carer. He doesn’t seem to have any rights when it comes to taking care of the children or running the household. I cringed when I heard Kate say “how could you let that women look after MY kids when I was away?” as if to say Richard is not competent enough to make his own decisions.

Kate was referring to Richard’s choice of a back-up carer when the regular babysitter cancelled while Kate was away. The husband evidently gets no say in the matter! Think about your own circumstance. Do you ever treat your other half like he doesn’t have a clue when it comes to anything associated with the kids or house? Is that fair? Have you given him a chance? Have you showed him the “ropes”. Remember, people are people and just like micro-managing people at work, your other half will feel humiliated if you adopt the ‘Ms Dictator’ approach. I’ve tried it – it doesn’t work. In the long run nobody likes Ms Dictator!

Over the years I’ve learned that I’ve got to trust my colleagues and my other half to “run the ship” http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/antibiotics/ when I’m not around. They need to feel empowered to make decisions and I need their buy-in on how things are run. Otherwise, when it doesn’t work, it’s all my fault. On the other hand, when I do trust them and listen, better decisions can be made. The road to Super Woman is a dead end – you’ll end up burning yourself out which Kate nearly did too.

Gaining respect for your partner’s parental skills is something you have to work on together. It requires constant communication and discussion on approaches to food preparation, discipline, schooling, and childcare. One of my favorite parts of the film I don’t know how she does it was when Richard shows he can take care of things at home – like sorting out his daughter’s ballerina tights while Kate was on a business trip. He had a wonderful look of pride and satisfaction when he told Kate he had sorted things out. Kate glanced at him lovingly as if to say “yes, you’ve done it and I love you for it”.

But running a really efficient Grand Central Station where each parent is pitching in and all the home logistics are running smoothly isn’t enough. Do you have time for just each other? I really felt sorry for Richard when he announces to Kate that she doesn’t seem to have any time for just him. Couples that play together stay together. What was that common interest that brought you together? What interests have you developed together as a couple? I know it’s a struggle to find the time but it is possible – be creative. Plan it out and get it in the calendar.
My other half and I played basketball together when we first met. Later when the children started playing tennis, we decided to take lessons and joined a club. Playing tennis for us was really about going back to basics. Both of us have always liked sports and it was part of our relationship from the very beginning. Be prepared for the children to be jealous of your time together. They will try to make you feel guilty like somehow your short-changing them. Funny isn’t it, some of the best things you can do for your kids are the ones where it’s not about them
Author: Christine Brown-Quinn. As a former managing director, wife and mother of 3, Christine Brown-Quinn shares her 20+ years experience in banking (as well as recent experience as an author and entrepreneur) and offers practical strategies on how to get the most out of your work & life. Christine’s recently published book Step Aside Super Woman… Career & Family is for Any Woman offers professional women time-tested advice on how to create work-life balance. She is also co-founder of the Women in Business Superconference series.

This blog is Part 5 of a 5-Part Series: ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ by Christine Brown-Quinn

Having it all…does that include pushing myself to the breaking point?

Having it all…does that include pushing myself to the breaking point?

Are you a working mum? Do you push yourself to the breaking point and still feel guilty? You are not alone! A working from home mum shares how managing time like a sergeant major made her marriage suffer, and what helps her to find more balance.

I said to a girlfriend the other day, ‘I really need to re-organise my life priorities. I mean, who else goes to the gym at 9pm rather than see their husband because there’s just no other time in the day to do it…after looking after the kids, dinner, bath, bed?’ Her reply was, ‘I go to the gym at 9pm!’.

She has recently returned to a full-time job after maternity leave with her second child. I am a stay-at-home mum who is also trying to start up her own business. That’s when I realised that my schedule was pretty typical of any working mum.

I’m not sure if having kids later in life is anything to do with it, but we do all seem to want it all – a job that gives us status, independence and an income; children who we enjoy; a great marriage; and a fabulous, fit body – despite getting older and having less time!

What I’ve realised recently is that something has to give or else you just crack as you set the bar too high for yourself. However, giving yourself a break isn’t so easy when you’re running at a million miles and hour and totally focused.

Choosing which area of your life needs to give a little is hard and there’s no right answer. If we choose family life and spend more time with our kids, rather than putting them in childcare or pre-school then the stress of tantrums and thinking of fun ideas for you and your kids to enjoy every day can be hard. For others this comes naturally and is an easy choice.

If we choose work then it’s a risk – you can dedicate yourself to a job and be side-lined for promotion, made redundant or just find the whole rush from home to childcare to work and visa versa utterly exhausting. For others the time on the train is relaxing and they thrive on the self-satisfaction of the job.

We are all individual and no one size fits all.

I thought that running my own business would be the best of both worlds and to a large extent I’ve been right. I get to be there http://imagineear.com/pharmacy/generic-neurontin/ every day for my son during his waking hours. He sleeps for Britain, so the afternoons and evenings are free for me to work and by the time he wakes up I’m ready to down tools and have fun.

But recently I’ve realised it’s my marriage that has taken a side-line – not my work or my son. It’s happened slowly but surely until I suddenly noticed that we’ve both started putting our jobs above our time together. Juggling our son between us and both running off to our respective offices or negotiating who gets the chance to go to the gym when he sleeps.

It doesn’t mean to say I’m about to get divorced…far from it. Realising this slide in priorities has given us both a wake up call and we now follow a ‘no work on the week-end policy’. You might be thinking that it’s odd that we even have to make this rule but if you’re a workaholic then it’s definitely a must. For me, the only way to be successful in business and remain happy in marriage and family life is to time-manage like a sergeant major.

The reality is that there is no perfect parent. And you can’t always achieve the job success you want at the pace you might have achieved when you were single. Perhaps it’s an all round compromise rather than always thinking it’s one single thing.

A friend who runs her own business from home made me realise this when she came over for coffee the other day and reeled off the routine she follows each week which means she does not dedicate more than 20 hours a week to work: two days a week her son does after school club to give her space to work a bit longer, 2 hours per day on dog walking so she got in a dog walker twice a week to free up time, 4 hours to managing her son’s mini-rugby team etc.

I was so impressed with her rigidity and honesty in managing her time, and finding space for what is important to her without feeling guilty or pushing herself to breaking point, that I have since tried to do the same.

It is tough to pull off, which is why I’m writing this article at 12.30am before I go and tidy up the kitchen…but I’m getting better and am happier for it!

Author: a Surrey-mum who works from home

Dads who do the housework are less stressed

Dads who do the housework are less stressed

A new study carried out for the charity Working Families has revealed that the best way for fathers to de-stress is by sharing the housework and childcare.

Read the report– released 5 Nov. 2010