What they say is true: there isn’t a manual out there that tells you how to be a father, mother, husband, or wife. It would make life easier most of the time, but that’s not the way it is. Having a family and learning how to manage everything can often take years to perfect (or at least get the hang of, as perfecting it may never happen). Part of the reason why is that you must factor full-time work into the equation. But, how do you balance? How do you make time for your family at the end of the day?
Plan out the second part of your days in advance
Working full-time is hard enough on its own but once you factor in being there for your family, it can quickly become exhausting. Thus, it may be easier for you to coordinate everything if you do some planning in advance. Instead of coming home every single night with nothing figured out, take some time before you go to bed to think about the next day. For a lot of you, this will significantly reduce stress and anxiety. Planning each dinner every night, for example, takes away the annoyance of trying to put together some semblance of a meal for your family after work. Even afterwork activities and quality time can be planned out. Don’t worry, even if you’re not a planner, you can pull this off.
Share your experiences with like-minded families
No matter what you’re going through in your life, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re not alone in your struggle. Regarding this issue, virtually every parent in the world is going to struggle with this at some point in time. Some more than others, but the fact remains. In other words, there are always others who understand what you’re going through. So, whether through family or friends, communicate with other parents who have had these issues in the past. Ask them what they did to improve and how they always made sure their family time came first. We can sit here and try to help you out as much as we can. Yet hearing experiences from other parents who’ve been where you are right now is going to help immensely.
Tell your children about your day
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, you’ll feel guilty that you don’t spend enough time with your family. Here’s the deal, money doesn’t grow on trees. People work hard for their money, and this typically also requires time. While there certainly is no reason to tell your children everything about your workplace, it can help to share with them sparingly. Let them know what you do and why you’re gone all day. If nothing else, while your children may not particularly care one way or the other, doing this may make you feel a little better about the situation. If comical events happen, as well, this can be a way to share some laughs with your children. The bottom line, though, is you can’t feel guilty about not being home enough. It’s something that all parents deal with so you’re not in the struggle alone.
Truth be told, this isn’t an algorithm. There are not one or two missing variables that will magically make the situation perfect. Again, this can often be a fight that you’ll deal with your entire life. There are also not one or two right answers, either. Everyone’s going to be a little different, so you just have to try and do what works best for you. Good luck.