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Balancing Work and Life

Balancing Work and Life

I had a conversation with my mother this morning about work-life balance that I feel provided a lot of valuable insight into our culture.  I do not have children but, as I told my mother, if I did, I don’t know how I would find the time to spend with them and still be engaged with other aspects of my life that I consider important.

My mother said she feels the lack of work-life balance has far reaching, negative effects on our culture. And I couldn’t agree more. We are a nation of workaholics and we barely have time for family, let alone friends and other interests. In other countries, balance is prioritized more highly than it is here. New parents receive more time off, and employees are often given more flexible schedules.

We are not automatons. We are human beings with physiological, psychological, and emotional needs. And the sooner we recognize that, the better – for both ourselves and our children.

 

Read more: Career, Children, Family, Life

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

14 comments

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9:24AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

8:27AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

I do think that balance is something that is not well-emphasized in American culture. We urge people to work and work and work some more, but then also fully expect people to slack off and take off from work for frivolous reasons. If we just gave people enough personal time, people could just work honestly, and enjoy their own time, as well. I think we have a lot to learn from Europe, really.

5:44PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

"We are not automatons. We are human beings with physiological, psychological, and emotional needs. And the sooner we recognize that, the better"

You're preaching to the choir. We already know that, tell Big Biz who are the slavedrivers.
People don't want to work that hard, they are forced to. Big Biz downsizes and dumps 2 to 3 times the work on people and if they can't do it, they get fired. Do you think people are "voluntarily" working this hard? Well, they're not, their jobs are threatened. Big Biz doesn't give a crap about peoples' physical and emotional "needs". To them "people" are disposable.
All Big Biz cares about is the bottom line. They don't care if they make you SICK or if they
KILL you as long as THEY make money. The proof is all around you, on the news every day.
The rich are getting richer on YOUR back and when they are done USING you, they want you to shut up and get out of their lives. It's not very nice of them, is it? But that's the truth.


12:18PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

The first step to creating work-life balance is to have the awareness that more balance is needed. Your article helps to create this awareness. Armed with the awareness, big results are possible with small changes!

Jamee Tenzer, PCC

12:13PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

One of the first steps to creating work-life balance is to create awareness, and your article helps to bring this awareness. Once we are aware, we can make changes and often the slightest shift can make the largest improvement in our experience of life as working mothers.

Jamee Tenzer, Working mom coach
shesarealmother.com

11:31AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

And my husband has the balls to wonder why I complain about needing more help with all I do! He just goes to work three or four days a week, and his household contributions are vehicle maintenance, cooking half the meals, emptying the dishwasher, and mowing the lawn.

Who does the rest of the housework, child raising, vegetable garden maintenance/harvesting, putting up fruits and vegetables for the winter, supplemental homeschooling, taking the kids to their activities, running errands, and balancing the budget? Take a wild guess.

Add to that the fact that his work hours are weekends and evenings. How the hell am I supposed to be able to have a life (if I had time!) when I can't even get out of the house during the evenings? AAAUUGGH!

9:26AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Balance is key...one must sit down and assign a priority to other things in life besides work.
Family, friends, relaxation, spirituality, giving back, and physical exercise are some areas that must receive our attention to be a whole person. Take time to reflect upon your own life and how it is set up.

6:00AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

...One of these days I'm gonna get organizized... : ~ /
(When I have work, and a life...)

5:27AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

I don't understand being unorganized or not being able to place priorities.

5:27AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Balance is an important aspect but it would not easy to implement it in real life. A life coach perhaps could be a great help.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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