Work-life balance is a constant struggle for many people. You need to earn a paycheck to provide for your family, but you may worry that your work takes you away from them too often. A lack of balance can cause chronic stress for both parents and children. Here’s what you need to know.
The Parent’s Perspective
Are your kids asleep by the time you get home at night? Do you have to spend a lot of your time on the road, away from your family all together? Has your spouse complained about feeling like a single parent? Do you feel like you’re missing important milestones?
If any of this rings true, you are not alone. Parents often worry about the impact that their absence has on their children, but the separation can be just as difficult on the adults. You’re at increased risk for burnout, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and even physical signs of stress from headaches to heart disease.
The Child’s Perspective
Depending on her age and personality, your child might cry or complain a lot, or stoically accept your absence. Either way, though, she is likely feeling the effects. She might be jealous of kids whose parents are more accessible. She might feel pangs of loneliness when you miss milestone events. She might even start to act out, causing trouble at school, or turn to destructive habits to ease her feelings. If you have multiple children, the oldest might start to feel like a surrogate parent, taking on a lot of the daily responsibilities of raising her siblings.
Finding Work-Life Balance
Of course, you are not alone. From military families to over-the-road truckers, plenty of parents are separated from their children for periods of time. The key to reducing stress and maintaining a strong bond is to find ways to reach out to each other, connecting even when you are far away. Develop rituals that make you feel close, like leaving notes for each other to find or videoconferencing at bedtime, and keep the lines of communication open. When you are together, make the most of that time.
Not all jobs are right for all families. If you can’t seem to find a way to make it work, maybe it’s time to look for a position that offers a better work-life balance. Think through the things you like and dislike about your current job, and search for something that feels like a better fit.
Ready for a New Role?
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, OneSource Staffing is here for you. To learn how we can assist you with finding your next position in Middletown, NY, visit our job board today.