I’ve had co-workers and friends tell me they admire my ability to balance work/friends/family/me time. Juggling all these relationships in order to keep the scale from tipping too far in one direction can be challenging, but is well worth the reward when you’re successful.
For the summer, I asked to work from home an additional day. Working from home two days a week and working in Buffalo three days makes a huge difference because now I’m home more than I’m away. This has allowed me to maximize my time with my family, which means I can also find more time for friends. My manager was nice enough to suggest I continue my summer schedule even after summer was over because she knew what a huge difference it made in my life. When my kids were younger, my husband and I both worked part time in order to spend more time with our kids and not be too caught up in work life.
I have always prioritized walking and exercising because of the stress relief and health benefits. My co-workers know I will be taking a noon time walk most of the time but will give them up as needed. Likewise my family knows why I very rarely give up my trips to the gym. I understand that sometimes short term priorities will trump my personal needs, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
I know many women who feel guilty about carving out me time, but to me that’s an essential part of the equation that helps keep everything in balance. You can’t keep giving time to work, family and friends if you don’t have some corresponding personal reward to offset it.
My life has always been about maintaining a good work/life balance and not about climbing the corporate ladder. I’ve seen people who prioritize work ahead of family and usually live to regret it. I have no intention of being one of those people. Let family, friends, co-workers and managers know you value balance and that it’s your priority. Good balance will make you a happier person and will make you a better parent/friend/employee.