I’ve often noticed how so many of these “perfect work/life balance” articles tend to be structured around balancing work with toddlers and babies in the household and less about what happens to that kind of balance once the kids start to grow up. As both a mom and a CEO of my own company, MyCorporation.com, the holidays are already hectic enough at the office, but add in two sons who are no longer of pre-K age and have two weeks off for winter break in that mix and what happens to that balance? It shifts into an incorporation of both work and family instead, making it easier to merge the two together and less stressful to strive for perfection during a season that puts so much emphasis on the notion as it is.
How exactly does one incorporate the pair together successfully and pressure-free? These are my tried and true tips for incorporating the workplace with kids verging on the cusp of their tweenage years and beyond.
1) Take ‘Em to the Office
If you work in a particularly festive and merry work environment, this is a great way for your kids to engage in the activities offered while avoiding any feelings of potential boredom that could creep in. Assuming that you have your own space, let your kids work on homework or assign them smaller craft projects to keep them busy and quiet – and make sure they know to be respectful of other members of the office working as well. Giving your kids little projects to work on rather than allowing them to play around online for eight hours straight helps teach them the importance of hard work and diligence. Plus, they’re probably very proud to see their mom working hard and taking action with her great career!
2) Enroll in a Winter Camp
If you take several meetings out of the office during the day or have to travel for your job, it’s not always feasible to take the kids with you to work every single day. Look into finding some great camps for kids instead, especially winter camps. They don’t have to be enrolled in camp every day, but a few days a week for winter break will add some much needed activity and excitement to their typical routines and allow for interaction with their own age groups. And speaking of that, find a few of their friends to go along with them and make it a party!
3) Stay Organized
When you’re not organized, things can snowball away from you (no pun intended) pretty fast. I’m a huge fan of lists and planning and like to keep organized as much as possible to keep the entire family and all of my work responsibilities in check. It always feels good to check off the tasks on your list without needing to check them twice like Santa (okay, pun definitely intended this time!)
Merging your work life with your children, like every work/life balance, is sure to have plenty of stressful moments ahead, particularly during the holidays when the parties, events, and family gatherings are in full swing. Stop and take deep breaths often. By keeping calm, you’re a lot more likely to accomplish your goals than if you act crazy or harried. Take the time to count your blessings as well. Recognize all of the good things you have and be grateful for those things instead of losing sight in what’s important. Tis the season, after all!