Achieving Work-Life Balance Doesn't Have to be a Mystery

Do you feel a pull between your career choice and your life outside of the workplace?  There is a constant debate about whether or not we can have “it all.”  While the conversation is relevant to both men and women, the discussion typically revolves around a woman’s desire to have a successful career and be a present force in her children’s lives.

Forbes published an article, 10 Commitments of People Achieving Successful Work-Life Integration, a couple of days ago which provides a small twist on an often polarizing topic.  There are two schools of thought, either you can have it all or you can’t.  Period. 

Kathy Caprino provides us with a refreshing perspective on what she calls “Work-Life Integration” and how people can be successful at it.  This article made me think about our readers because we have all chosen extremely meaningful career paths – influencing, in some way, the growth of children.  Because we work in such a significant industry and what we do impacts children's futures, I found this article poignant and not something that would drive us to new career choices but support us in our current circumstance.  Caprino says “Successful work-life integration requires a new look at the work you’re doing today, to ensure the ‘form’ of the work you do fits with the process of how you want your life to unfold.  Only then, will it feel like the time you’re spending away from your family or your other passions is truly worth it.”

After talking with many family child care providers, it seems as though work-life balance was a motivator to starting their family child care business.  It was a way to be home with their children and still have an income.  I’ve also heard it is really hard to actually achieve this perceived balance when you become busy and involved with the families you care for as you run your business from your home.

Center providers, do you often times find it hard to care for children all day long and then maintain the patience and positive discipline with your own children when you get home?  After you’ve done arts and crafts all day at work, it probably isn’t so exciting to come home and do them again!

Center directors, do you feel buried under paperwork, policies and all of the other things that go with running a business?  You get to see the kids a bit but you’re distracted and concerned about unpaid bills and paying your overhead.  Is it easy to forget you are providing an essential infrastructure for the care of the children in your center?

CACFP Sponsors, you work hard in many different ways to educate and support providers as they do their best to serve healthy meals to the children in their care.  You work late to put together materials to take on your monitoring visits, put together annual trainings and make sure all of the detailed paperwork is handled and taken care of to ensure providers are getting reimbursed on time. 

You might sometimes feel like it’s not possible to be both happy with your career path and the time you are able to spend with your family.  Caprino gives us 10 commitments to help us “integrate life and work successfully.”  She says:

I believe, because of the field we have chosen to work in, work life-integration is even more plausible because we can “honor what matters to” us and find a way to be “present” in our lives outside of work.

Read the article to find out the 10 commitments Caprino suggests you make in order to achieve successful work-life balance or integration.

Share your strategies in the comments below!

Reference:  Caprino, Kathy.  10 Commitments of People Achieving Successful Work-Life Integration.  Forbes.com

Article URL: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/06/16/10-commitments-of-people-achieving-successful-work-life-integration/?ss=forbeswoman

 

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.