- Whose career is more important – yours or your partner’s?
- How much of your career should you sacrifice for your family and who makes sacrifices more often?
- How is it to be a single parent?
- What to choose between family and work?
It seems impossible at the beginning, but there are things which you can do in order to find an equilibrium between your family and your career. Here are some suggestions, based on the experiences of other people who have dealt with this issue before you. Discover what your values are and establish your priorities and try to find out the importance of all things in your life; work, family, friends and other things you cherish.
Here’s a simple exercise which may help you in this regards:
Write as many values as you can think of and choose 10 which are most important. List them in decreasing order. Then, along with your partner, start and compare 10 with 9, 9 with 8 and so on up to 2 and 1. Even if it seems arranged already, speak in terms of “In order to dedicate myself to 10, I shall drop out 9”. Pay very much attention to what you feel when you say you should “DROP OUT”. If you have doubts about it, try to see how you would feel if you dropped out the next one. You can do this exercise periodically, because priorities are continuously changing.
Maybe the most important thing when it comes to balancing out between family and work life is establishing boundaries.
Ways in which you can establish your limits:
- Assign yourself a number of hours you are willing to spend at work and do not cross over that number unless some special circumstances require it.
- Dedicate yourself to other activities in your spare time: join a club, an organization or arrange fixed meetings with your friends. You’ll find it hard not to commit yourself to them.
- Learn to say NO to extra working hours and to other less important things in your life.
- Try to solve your problems with your partner. Whose career is on the first place? Open and sincere communication is essential because it is a good way of solving your problems in order to concentrate your efforts on the things that really matter.
- Negotiate with your partner about whose career is more important at a certain moment. In a family the partners should alternate roles and sometimes, a sacrifice in the name of the other may help both of you for the future.
- Change perspective. Look back into the past. You have made wrong decisions, you have oscillated, you have based yourself to momentary attitudes. It is time to learn from your mistakes and see where your career is at in this moment. Take initiative and change the bad things in your life.