WOMAN 2 WOMAN: Balancing work and family

Do you come home from work physically or emotionally drained, with little energy left for your family?

Do you come home from work physically or emotionally drained, with little energy left for your family?

Do you find it difficult to get out of bed every day knowing that you face an overwhelming workload?

Do you feel like you are always behind schedule or wish you could just quit your job?

The following tips can help you take control of the home front and reduce as much tension as possible during stressful times.

Avoid the Morning Rush - Start going to bed and getting up earlier. Move bedtime up by 15 minutes at a time until you adjust to the schedule you want.

It may take your body a few weeks to adapt to retiring earlier, but in the long run, it will be easier for you to rise at an earlier time.

Place All Items You Need in One Familiar Location-Place near the door your keys, briefcase, purse, school supplies and important papers.

Keep a petty cash fund handy for all those times that you or a child needs to take money for break or lunch.

Make Clothing Choices for the Next Day -Laying clothes out the night before helps make morning dressing easier and hassle free.

Pull  yourself from your pillow at least 1-1/2 hours prior to leaving for work - A few more minutes added to your morning preparation time can prevent frantic dressing, no breakfast and forgotten tasks that need to be done before leaving for work.

Rise first and dress before waking others- Time alone in the morning can be just what you need to get yourself together without bumping into others or being interrupted.

Develop routines for Children -If old enough, have children prepare their lunches the night before to save you time and get them involved in food preparation.

Develop routines that help children get ready for bed (cleanup time, brush teeth, story time, and bedtime).

If children are not sleepy, tell them they must stay in the room and read a book or do quiet activities until lights out. Have a TV cutoff time.

Encourage your spouse to share in the morning tasks- Have your spouse assist with the morning and evening tasks so that all the responsibility does not fall on one person.

Take time for breakfast- Set the breakfast table the night before -- a good task for a younger child. Sit down for 15 minutes and eat a light, wholesome breakfast.

If you are on the run, grab a piece of fruit or something to eat while commuting or during a morning break.

Set your Clocks ahead- It may be psychological, but having your clocks and watches set 5 to 10 minutes ahead can keep you on schedule.

Reward yourself for arriving at work on time- You will be surprised how good you feel when you arrive at work on time and relaxed! Later, treat yourself to something you would not normally do: a relaxing bath, a visit with friends or reading a new novel.

If you find yourself exhausted with the balancing act, most likely your children will sense that and react strongly to your frustrations.

Keep in mind that balancing work and family touches individuals without children too. Elder care, family crises and individual special needs are also demanding.