5 Tips for Balancing Work and Free Time

Shantie Toolsie  | May 24, 2019

It’s the age-old debate: as parents, how do we balance our work time with our free time to be with the kids? Weekends are great, but it’s important to make sure you’re also getting plenty of weekday time with them as well. Here are some handy tips for keeping a healthy work/life balance.

1. Schedule Yourself Free Time

If you’re an organized person and like to track your weekly events, up your planner game by actually scheduling in free time for yourself and your kids. It might seem silly to write down “free time” from 3pm to 5pm, but if you pencil it in it might help you better see your week laid out as a whole. Have an idea of something fun to do with the kids during those free times, and write that down to remind yourself of your plans.

2. Trim Out Unnecessary Errands

Though grocery shopping with the kids is technically spending time with them, it’s also valuable time you could be spending doing fun things instead. Consider how many hours per week or month you spend running errands and how you can consolidate. Or, maybe try a grocery delivery service to save time. If you do go to the store, make lists and have a gameplan so you don’t end up wasting time wandering.

3. Make Chore Time Bonding Time

Though chores are inevitable, they don’t have to be time wasted. Encourage your kids to help you cook dinner or dust the house. You might also offer rewards as encouragement both for yourself and the kids. For example, promise a weekend bowling trip if the weekly chores all get completed. When you are doing chores, put on fun music or make a dance party out of it to make it seem less tedious. Visit this Scholastic blog for ideas on how to make chores fun for kids.

4. Read Before Bed

Though our schedules are busy, there is always a little window of time right before bed to spend with your kids. Take advantage of that window by making time to read to them or play a short game. Even 15 minutes every night makes a huge difference and shows your kids they are your priority. It also helps them relax and wind down so they’ll sleep better.

5. Eat Together

One of the easiest ways for families to spend time together is during meals. Whether it be breakfast, dinner or both, make an effort to sit down and eat together. Have a no-toys-at-the-table rule so you encourage them (and yourself) to socialize. Studies have even shown that kids who have meals as a family are far more likely to do well in school, and be happier and more fulfilled in the long run.

No matter how busy your life gets, there are always ways to take time for your kids! Get creative and remember to have fun!

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