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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Striking the Work/Home Balance by Hannah from Save the Bread

A guest post by Hannah DeWever:

Striking the Work/Home Balance

I used to love to work. Before my house was overrun with children, I took a lot of pride in being a member of the workplace and bringing home the (turkey) bacon. Now there is a disconnect between career me and mommy me. I try to stay professional amidst managing the everyday emergencies of my preteens and teens, but it is tough to strike that balance. When it all gets too overwhelming, I try to take a step back and do the following:

Remember my priorities. Perhaps a better way to say this is: Remember my number one priority. Your family is the reason you work, not the other way around. Those old ladies at the grocery store are right. You are blessed to have such a beautiful family and your kids will grow up too fast. Your job is a way to put food on the table, and buy some nice Christmas gifts, but it does not define you as a parent. Your kids do.

Ask for help. I hate to call you out here moms, but I’m going to anyway. You do NOT have superpowers and your health/happiness/sanity is not of less importance than the other members of the family. If your kids are old enough, give them chores to do. If the non-stop chatter of your toddlers is giving you a migraine, it is okay to let them watch TV for a little while. Tell your spouse what you need from him, and ask him what you can do to make his life easier, too. As women, we often get overwhelmed and just assume that everyone around us should notice and offer to help. The truth is that we need to ask if we want to get the treatment we deserve.

Leave my work problems at work. If you are a work-at-home parent, this is a little bit trickier but it is vital to separate your work persona from your parenting one. When you leave your desk at the end of the day, remove yourself from the work setting until you clock back in. If you work from home, set a schedule and try to stick to it. Close your laptop during meals and scheduled break times.  I find this the most difficult to accomplish when I am trying to blog… but I force myself to remember that blogging about my family isn’t the same thing as spending time with them.   

Explain how I earn a living to my kids. For some odd reason, parents do not like to admit to their kids that they have to work hard to provide the quality of life the family enjoys. Do we really expect our kids to believe that we work for fun, and all of the things we have just magically appear? Even at a very young age, talk to your kids about why you work, what you do for a living and what that money affords. Then when you must step away from the family setting for a few minutes to handle a work issue, your kids will better understand why.
When the day is done, my kids are my greatest accomplishment. I take pride in my work too, but know the everyday things I do to strengthen my family are what will count in the end.

What tips do you have for keeping your family and work life balanced?

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Hannah DeWever is an old soul in a young body, currently raising her husband and five kids in the suburban cow pastures of Texas. She tells everything like it is and struggles daily with her love/hate relationship with imperfection. Follow as Hannah explores her humor-infused reality on her blog, Save the Bread. @savebreadblog


  1. Hi Hannah,

    Great tips! I have to constantly remind myself too about my priorities. I salute those Moms who are working.


  2. Thanks Judy! I know keeping that balance can be tricky sometimes, but it's worth it when you realize how much it benefits your family...and yourself!

  3. Great post. I just started to give my child a few chores. They are little ones like picking up her own toys when she is done or putting away her shoes. I am surprised at what a different those little things make.

  4. Hello! I came across your blog via the “Linkin with my ladies” Thursday Hop! Great post!

  5. Ugh, I need (!) those tips. Thank you.

  6. @Cynthia - Thanks so much! Chores are DEFINITELY a good way to help not only teach kids responsibility but also to take a few things off of our own overflowing plates every now and again! Every little thing helps. Glad you were able to make a difference in your house!

    @Vashti - Thank you! Always super-excited to meet other blogging moms. :) Hope to see you around again!

    @Kristi - Don't we all?! Trust me, I sometimes think I need a desktop mirror so that I can look at myself as I am typing some of these things. Helps me stay accountable. Glad you found it to be beneficial!

    Have a GREAT night, Ladies! And thanks for reading!

  7. I love what you say about priorities. I work from home mostly but do go out a few times each month to work (I do jewelry parties for a direct sales company.) My schedule is flexible and the money is great when I work but I do find it hard sometimes to balance the two.

    My best tip is to not be too hard on yourself. When I realized that my job time was time for me to be away, reflect, refresh, and socialize, I believe that I became a better mommy!

    1. Hey Molly! Thanks so much! I truly believe that "work" is a very fluid term. Whether you work at a job outside the home, work as an independent consultant at parties, work inside the home to manage your household, or a combination of any of the above and a ton of other activities I didn't name... it's all a balancing act.

      At the end of the day, I think you're absolutely right. We need to not be too hard on ourselves. Easier said than done, of course! I know that I, personally, need to cut myself way more slack.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I think the biggest thing for me was learning to ask for help just becuase you stumble every now in then doesnt mean you failed

    1. You are so right, Marty! We all need to cut ourselves a little slack and remember that we shouldn't have to do it all by ourselves. I'm guilty of that more than most!