October is National Work and Family Month

Did you know that October is National Work and Family Month? It’s a newer “month”—first designated in 2003 by the US Senate and reaffirmed just last year by the US House of Representatives, so you might not. I didn’t! And while I know the month is more than halfway over I still wanted to talk about it, because balancing work and family is something thing working moms deal with every.single.day.

So often, in the industry I’m in, I see people burning the midnight oil way too often. They get burned out. They get angry because they can’t do the things they enjoy, but for some reason they can’t let the pull of work go. Or feel like they can’t. And maybe that’s why “work life” balance is such a hot topic these days.

I found out about National Work and Family month from Kathie Lingle’s article, Seven Ways to Battle the Way to Control Your Own Life, in the Huffington Post. The article was pretty informative (for me), and coming out of a couple of months of very intense workloads, I’m trying live out some of her suggestions in my own life. Primarily, taking time away from work and taking time for me.

Sometimes, in regards to working moms, their time at work is considered their me-time, when really? It’s so not. At work, we’re simply answering to the demands of co-workers, bosses, and employees, while at home we attend to the needs of children, housework, and more.

That’s why carving out time for me is becoming increasingly important. With my life situation, it’s not always easy, and I don’t always get to do it, but I try to make it a priority. Even if it’s forcing myself to take a lunch outside of the office and window shop or putting down the mop and bucket for an hour in the evening to watch Glee.

And I make sure to take my vacation time! Lingle’s quote (following) lets me let go of any guilt I might have had about taking vacation (and I didn’t have much guilt in the first place).

Bone up on the facts about how people who don’t take vacation die at
significantly higher rates and younger ages. If this is your idea of a life,
then you owe it to your family to bulk up on life insurance.

Damn straight. I actually haven’t been able to afford to get away on a beach vacation in a few years, but I do try to maximize my PTO to relax and spend time with friends and family.

So, what can you do for your personal work/life balance during National Work & Family Month and FOREVER?

7 thoughts on “October is National Work and Family Month

  1. Susan, my workplace did a bunch of cool things for the month–including raffles for cool prizes to help people maximize their time off.

    I won a gold family Cincy Zoo pass. Yahoo!

  2. I think employers should send their employees flowers with a note that says "Take the afternoon off. Do something nice for yourself." in celebration of this month!

    OK, maybe I'm dreaming. But good post! And here's an initiative to check out: Workplace Flexibility 2010. It's a campaign to help develop consensus-based policy solutions that work for business and families, all by 2010. I'm down.

  3. Sounds like things have come a long way since the ol' Work-Life Balance Committee days (which people always had to skip — too much work to do!)

  4. America needs more work life balance. I made it home in time yesterday to have a little me-time in front of the Oprah show. It was about the happiest people on earth. The first place she featured was Denmark, which I already knew was a country that supports very family-friendly policies. The women she interviewed via Skype raved about the work life balance in Denmark. That the norm is getting off at work by 4:00 p.m. and then everyone goes home to spend time with their families, go to the market, or whatever. Ugh. It sounded so nice.

  5. In today's economy, I fear work/life balance is in danger of going out the window. Big companies know they can get more hours for less because people are terrified of losing their incomes and benefits.

  6. just4ofus says:

    You do need to take time for yourself. and it is hard, especially for a single mom (and an employee of where u r Tela LOL), and sometimes time and $ do not allow that to happen. So then it becomes the little things in life.
    I think a work/life/balance is first recognizing that you can not have everything. Life, especially with kids, is about sacrifice and compromise. Once you realize that, then you can figure out the balance.

  7. Marie in Tenn says:

    Recently, I've started carving out that "me" time. I try to read a chapter of a book before my bedtime. I went to the hairdresser. Doing yoga on the Wii Fit. For a mom who was totally frazzled, this has been wonderful. I've taken a bit of time away from my husband, but the time we spend together now is much better than before.

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