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Juggling work and family

Putting your management skills to work

In today’s world, many women have job commitments in addition to family responsibilities. If you’re one of them, you know how stressful it can be to balance your professional and personal lives. But there are steps you can take to make life easier and less stressful.

  1. Look for dependable, trustworthy childcare. Whether you need a day-care center, an after-school program, or a part-time baby-sitter, both you and your child have to feel comfortable. Consider your child’s unique needs and your over-time or travel schedule when looking for childcare.

  2. Explore options for elder care. If you are taking care of an elderly relative, look around for community services such as senior centers, meal-delivery programs, visitor services, and transportation services. If you need home care for an elderly relative, find a professional you can trust to provide the kind of care you do. Your company may offer educational and referral services that can point you in the right direction.

  3. Have a backup plan. Find a friend, neighbor, or nearby relative who can help out in the event your normal arrangements fall through.

  4. Ask about flexible work arrangements. Many employers are allowing employees to work compressed workweeks (e.g., 10 hours a day for 4 days), telecommute when they need to, or make their own hours. Find out if your employer offers these options.

  5. Manage expectations at home. Talk with family members and caregivers about the responsibilities you need them to take on. You can’t do everything, so make sure everyone in the house pitches in.

  6. Plan simple ways to spend time together. Once a week, go out to dinner as a family, rent a movie, or play board games. At bedtime, read to your kids, watch a favorite DVD together, or just let them tell you about their day. Also, make sure to make time for you and your partner.
  7. Be good to yourself. Your paycheck can’t be the only reward for working hard. As difficult as it might be, try to find time to get to the gym, catch up on your reading, or go out with your friends.
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