The term ‘work-life balance’ has been thrown around over the years during discussions ranging from job satisfaction to general life happiness. But have you heard? Another way to maintain your sanity and avoid burnout is work-life harmony. The difference between the two is evident in the use of the words ‘balance’ and ‘harmony’, with the former suggesting the importance of managing time between the two separate entities of work and life, and the latter pointing towards an integration. We spoke to four working mums on what helps them manage and integrate their work and family life.
- Draw Boundaries The boundaries between work and personal life are blurrier than ever, even for those who are not married and have children. Some have found it easier to draw metaphorical lines in symbolic separation between life at work and life at home, allowing them to focus on each domain of life separately. The key here is to find a system that works for you and your family. This might take some trial and error, and it might be a good idea to get help from your spouse.
- Apply Lessons From Work One way to integrate work and life more seamlessly is to look at which aspects of work might be applicable to family life as well. This can be as simple as observing ways in which others communicate to improve your own communication and discussions at home.
- Immerse Yourself in Rest Time at Home Be present. If you’ve decided to set aside an hour to play with your little one, or to relax over a nice home-cooked dinner and easy banter with the family, make sure the time you’ve set aside is spent doing exactly that. Answer work-related calls or emails after. The world will not crumble if you choose to focus on the family during that allocated time. Doing so also allows you some respite from work-related stress, and to recharge.
- Make The Most Out of Rest Days We can all attest to the strange phenomenon that is the seemingly sped-up growing period of our children. If you don’t consciously spend your time wisely, you’re going to find yourself wondering where all your time had disappeared to. Discuss about your rest days with your spouse, and plan activities that you can do together as a family.
This article is an extension of an article found in the print edition of Singapore’s Child April Issue 173 with the headline ‘Working Mums’.
What are some other ways to promote work-life harmony? Share your ideas with us below.