Archive for March, 2012

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My work-life juggle casualty: Time with friends

Categories: Balancing Act, Your life

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If I think about things that make me truly happy, spending time with friends is right near the top of the list. And yet, it’s one of the things that consistently gets squeezed out of the otherwise insane work-family-stuff-I-have-to-do schedule. Every time I catch up with a friend I reminder myself to make that a priority, and yet, it’s still a challenge.

All of my friends have busy lives of their own so it’s understandable that it’s tough to align two (or more) schedules and find time to hang out together. It’s definitely not for lack of trying: I have strings of text messages and emails with friends where we’re attempting to get together only to be derailed by a work meeting, almost-forgotten playdate, a business trip, or something else. Still, this doesn’t help the fact that I love spending time with friends and I have too little of it to spend with them.

Thinking about it, I realized there were a few somewhat creative things I’ve done recently to make more time:

  • Joint errand running. OK, so this is much less fun than say getting dinner at one of our favorite places, but a friend and I recently spent a few hours running errands together. We stopped for some frozen yogurt in between and had time to catch up walking around and in the car.
  • Post-bedtime quick drink. Going out to dinner at 9pm on a weeknight is a no-go, but my friend and I recently decided to go grab a quick drink after we put our kids to bed (with both of our husbands staying home with the kiddos). It was just an hour or so but completely worth it.
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Work-life juggling tip: Make more traditions

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family

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I’m a big proponent of the quality over quantity time argument: I think the quality of time you spend with your kids and family is more important than the quantity. When I put my phone away, stop multi-tasking and really engage with my kiddo and my husband, it’s awesome. The key ingredient in quality time is being there mentally, 100% (which is hard to do when I’m endlessly being distracted with incoming work emails on my phone.)

One of the best ways I’ve found to add quality time to our crazy busy hectic life is by setting up family traditions. It really helps to have some regular times and things we do as a family that we can all look forward to and that are non-negotiable. (Well, I’m being idealistic. We’ve skipped many a tradition because of schedules or because we simply forgot or were too tired. But the intention is there.)

Here are a few of our favorite ones:

  • Family movie night. Every Friday we eat dinner together and then watch a movie. It’s my favorite part of the week and I look forward to it all day Friday. By the end of the week I’m wiped and I think my husband is too. It’s awesome to know that we have this completely relaxing family chill-out time waiting there for us.
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“My mom likes weekends because she doesn’t have to work”

Categories: Balancing Act, Career Talk, Parenting & Family

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The title of this post is an actual quote my 7 year-old kiddo said to someone this weekend.

Ahem.

To be honest, it kind of stopped me in my tracks. Of course I like the weekends — who doesn’t like a break from the work grind and a chance to chill with family? But what struck me is that my kiddo has this notion in her head that I don’t like to work. Or at least don’t like to work enough that the reason I like weekends is because I don’t have to work.

Without getting into yet another stay at home or work debate (which oh, I hope we are done with!), I’ll say this: I like to work and I’ve never imagined myself not working. (Well, to be honest, I have imagined myself on a prolonged vacation somewhere warm and tropical, but that’s another story.) When I read Leah’s post, about whether she’d still choose to work if she won the lottery, I was nodding my head. I work for more than money, although money is an important necessity. I work because I love the challenge, building something, creating something, working with awesome people, keeping my brain buzzing and my sanity relatively intact.
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