Work whether in or out of the house can become not only an occupation but also a preoccupation. When this happens in a family the preoccupation can steal a piece of us that belongs somewhere else. So this becomes the challenge; when work and family collide. We have a critical need to find balance in our lives. How do we achieve our goals outside the home when faced with the critical task of partnering and parenting at home? The list of responsibilities is endless. Each competes for our attention. So we compromise. We allocate our time the best we can but somebody’s going to feel cheated. Unfortunately, that “somebody” is usually a person we care a great deal about. Often times our families are cheated of our time for the sake of our career goals. To reduce the collisions between work and family we need to discover the things that contribute to the collisions and then figure out ways to reduce those collisions. Listed are some factors that contribute to work and family collisions: fear of losing your job, unhealthy competition, conflicting values between husband and wife, growing expectations at work and home, poor time management, unresolved conflicts at home and lack of communication skills.
These are some questions to ask when attempting to reduce collisions: What are my priorities? Am I in agreement with my spouse on these priorities? What can be negotiated at work and what is out of my control? Am I making the best use of my time at work? Am I allowing unresolved conflicts at home affect my efficiency at work? Am I 100% engaged with my family when I am at home? Am I aware of the ongoing needs of my family?
Your choices at work should reflect your values in life. Success at home contributes to success in the work place. Achieving balance in this is worth all the hard work it requires. I want to encourage you to sit down with your spouse and think of ways you can reduce collisions and gain better work/life balance.