If you’re a business owner or you care a lot about your career, you want to find success in that area. You may need to spend a lot of time every week working or finding ways to keep your business solvent. If you have a family, though, you need to achieve some work-life balance. Caring for your family is part of that.
In this article, we’ll talk about some situations where you need to strike a balance between your professional and familial life. We will also give you suggestions for how to do that.
Caring for an Older Family Member
Say that you have a parent who’s not so young anymore. You want to watch out for them, but you also have to put in a lot of hours at work. If you’re not able to care for a parent who needs round-the-clock attention, you’ll need to devise a solution that works well for both of you.
You might need to look into a nursing home if your parent can’t go about their daily routine without some substantial assistance anymore. You can also try to find an assisted living facility for them. An assisted living facility works well for older adults who still have some autonomy but need help with things like cooking their daily meals or washing their clothes.
You can try to locate a nursing home or assisted living facility close to your residence. That way, you can see your parent or another older relative as much as possible when your work and other obligations allow you to do that.
You can also find a live-in nurse or a home health aide if your parent wants to stay in their home or you don’t have the money for a nursing home or assisted living facility for them. A live-in nurse costs more than a home health aide in most instances. If your older relative has some savings or you’re making enough money at work to pay for one of these options, that could be the best solution if it’s clear this person needs daily help.
Having a Baby
If you expect a new arrival in your family soon, you’ll need to find a work-life balance there as well. Not all jobs guarantee paid paternity or maternity leave. Some lawmakers want to put forward legislation that will ensure that right for American workers, but it’s not in place yet.
For the moment, you’ll need to try and find a company that gives you paid paternity or maternity leave. If you own the company or run it yourself, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in that regard.
If you work for a business that does not give you paid maternity or paternity leave and you can’t find another place to work, you’ll need to look into other options. You can try to put your child in daycare as quickly as possible.
Some daycare facilities will start taking a child on weekdays that’s as young as a couple of months old. They might have a separate room where they care for infants and another for toddlers or older children.
If you can afford that, you can return to work pretty quickly, assuming you’re not dealing with any other health complications. If that’s not an option, and you co-parent with a partner, one of you might stay at home while the other works. You won’t bring in as much cash as a family that way, but at least you can know the child has someone there to care for them.
Having a Professional Life with Older Kids
If you run a company or work for one, and you have some older kids, you have other options available to you. You might bring the child to a daycare facility at your work if you have one on the premises. You can also look into hiring a babysitter if your kids are in school now, but you want someone there to watch over them in the afternoons.
You might ask a retired neighbor to do it, or you can see if an older relative wants to help you. If you live in a city where you have lots of relatives around with whom you get along, this situation might work for everyone.
If you work and have kids waiting for you at home in the evenings, you might need to start bringing food back to the house with you for dinner. You might also see if the babysitter you hired or relative you’ve enlisted for babysitting duty in the afternoons knows how to cook. That way, you can enjoy a home-cooked meal in the evenings instead of pizza or burgers.
You might cook meals on the weekends and put them in the fridge. You can warm them up during the weekday evenings. You might stick them in Tupperware containers and then heat them up in the microwave or oven when you get home.
You Can Take a Leave of Absence
If your job will not give you paid time off when you have kids, you can take a leave of absence instead. You won’t get any money for that, but at least you can take some time to bond with your baby until they get a little older and you can return to work.
This is a viable option if you have savings that you can live on for a while, or you co-parent with a spouse or partner who can continue working while you do not have any cash coming in. You can put your career on hold for a while knowing you can go back to work at your previous job or look for a new one at some point.
Finding an appropriate work-life balance is not always the easiest thing, but if you want to stay close with your family members and keep them happy, it is critical. You might need to experiment with some different options till you find a situation that works for everybody.