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Sometimes a parent wishes that they had a handy-guide to navigate work and family. Here are 11 work life balance tips for Indian parents.
Being a working parent can be exhausting in India, sometimes each parent wishes that they had a handy-guide to navigate work and family. Here are 11 work life balance tips for Indian parents.
In the new world, we are slowly dusting traditional patriarchal norms off and balancing work and home is not just a woman’s job. However, we still see how the load responsibilities are skewered to favour men. It is a common experience for us, especially seeing our working mothers to go above and beyond for the family even after coming home from a long day of work.
On the contrary, many fathers return home from work assuming their home and familial duties to be over, allowing them to mentally and physically relax. This is unfair to women and reinforces the false notion that women alone are responsible for all the labour raising a family or taking care of a household takes.
This harmful notion is propagated by sexist shows and magazines as well. On one hand, they encourage women to work, be independent and learn important life skills. On the other, many such magazines or websites only target women when advising on managing work and home. This perpetuates the notion that women alone should be tasked with responsibilities.
I would like to assert that both partners have a responsibility to contribute their fair share to their personal work and their families. Men have an equal stake in raising his children and taking care of his house that he shares with his wife. Below are some tips that can help any working parent or spouse to balance their work and family better: –
Between playing various roles at the workplace and home, it often happens that some tasks can go unnoticed, deadlines may not be met, valuable time with family might be missed and often important breaks can get missed. To avoid this, it is highly recommended that one manages their time better.
A few examples for this are to be cognizant of time and finish tasks in no more time than they need, to set an alarm or use a calendar.
Organization is key for management. Multitasking and being part of multiple spheres and roles can mean that a lot of things and spaces can get mixed up. Therefore, it is important to sort out and organize different roles and what is entailed in them. For example, you can organize your working space, tasks and files. Similarly, organizing groceries or closets can help cut down time in cooking and dressing up at home.
Often, a fast-paced life can leave lesser time to curate belongings or spotless spaces. As a consequence, corners or rooms in our homes can often accumulate things over a long period of time. This adds to stress and poor organization.
It is wise to take out small periods of time every day to sort through things and discord or rearrange them. Both, decluttering your work space or refrigerator can add to your productivity and peace of mind.
Meditation doesn’t have to be as we watch on TV, doing yoga or listening to slow music. The goal of meditation is to replenish the mind by making it exercise in a slower, controlled manner. Meditation can also look like cooking, or painting. Many people also use gymming as meditation. It is key to reflect on the day or on the self and realign oneself with their life and purpose.
A healthy life is nothing without exercise as it prepares your body to take on last minute schedule changes, busy meetings, playing with children or running your dog. Studies show that exercising also releases happy hormones that bring you closer to family, reduces stress and gives you endurance. A regular schedule for exercise also ensures better immunity and lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
It is of utmost importance to take time to unwind and process the hectic schedule before or after it happens. To take on so many responsibilities, one needs a clear, peaceful and energetic mind. Everybody has a different idea of relaxation, it can be listening to music, doing yoga, taking a walk or reading. It should essentially help to rejuvenate the mind and offer respite and relaxation in a busy day.
Learning how to say no can be a boon for any working individual. Boundaries are a good way to stick to your schedule or reserve energy and give your best. You must assess the demands of your day and prioritize accordingly.
It may seem saying no can is like a negative act, it can often favour the people you wish to spend time with as being energetic and prepared for spending time as opposed to being tired or burnt-out.
Work weeks are busy and often the smallest things such as meals, attire or laundry can be overwhelming. In order to fix this, it is best to plan ahead by taking small measures such as preplanning a week’s meals, buying groceries accordingly, planning outfits, wash days etc. This can reduce the mental gymnastics that creep up on us after work and reduce stress.
It is important to remember that before a parent or a colleague, you are an individual and only when you stay in touch with yourself can you give your best in every role you take up.
Hobbies are one way to pursue your favourite activities, have fun and refresh. It is important to ensure not to stress out over hobbies or seeking too much perfectionism, and allow yourself to unwind and relax.
A busy schedule is a huge feat, but definitely something that can be made easier by taking intermittent breaks. A break can ensure you are not flooding the stress of one task into another and can be planned as per your convenience.
Many people prefer short breaks in between work hours, while others prefer taking week long breaks after a constant busy schedule. It is up to you to decide what suits you best.
Patience is key to understanding that you are human, not only to be generous with others but with oneself. It can often be a struggle to set up a routine or stick to it, but it is important to be patient and kind to oneself. With time, more often than not, many things fall into place and what was once difficult or unnatural becomes simpler and more accommodating.
The above tips are limited in how to balance work and family time and more often than not, figuring it all out is a process. At the end of the day, being in touch with yourself, your loved ones, your home and body is of utmost importance. By being cognizant of your needs, planning becomes much easier.
It also doesn’t have to be a lonely process. Always make sure to communicate your needs or feelings, to sit together and collectively plan work and family time. There are seldom perfect days, but a healthy family always pitches in.
Image source: Still from the film Chhichhore, edited on CanvaPro
I am Ria from New Delhi. I did my Bachelors in Political Science and History and am currently pursuing my Masters in Political Science from University of Delhi and Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Justice from read more...
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