In today’s time and age, with technology, social obligations, and pressures in the professional realm, couples tend to drift apart. Achieving work-life balance is the need of the hour but that is where most couples struggle.
The pressure to build a successful career often gets in the way of balancing work and family to the best of your ability. Or you may find pure bliss in caring for your kids and spouse so much that you sacrifice your professional life for it. In the end, both these approaches can lead to a lack of fulfillment and fill you with regret. Striking a balance between the two is what is required.
6 Ways To Achieve Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a work-life balance is extremely vital if you wish to be successful in either field and enjoy the best of both worlds. As a couple, you should prioritize all your goals and aspirations and encourage each other when things start getting difficult and motivation is lost.
That’s one of the most reliable ways to strengthen your bond. Here are a few tricks and tips that couples, whether cohabiting, married, both working or not, can apply to start achieving work-life balance and change their relationship dynamics for the better.
1. Managing expectations
Expectations help us grow in life and become better. But, when the expectations become rigid demands from your spouse or you want them to behave the way you wish, problems start to arise. It’s important to understand how the other person looks at life and perceives things.
Their personality, their value system, and most importantly, the skills they possess may be different from yours. Not everyone is equipped to do everything. Assess what each of you is good at and capitalize on individual strengths to build a harmonious relationship.
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2. Healthy communication
A lot has been said and written about the importance of communication between partners. It is also the most important step in learning how to achieve work-life balance for couples. And yes, a lot more will be said, simply because healthy and effective communication can help build a foundation for a strong, respectful and loving relationship.
When both husband and wife have their responsibilities at home and in the office, it’s important that your love, acceptance, genuine regard and warmth are communicated through words and body language. Little gestures like a peck on the cheek, a warm hug or a genuine smile can go a long way in helping the other relax and bring joy. You can improve communication by focusing on solutions rather than problems.
3. Planning schedules
Nothing can work better for you than being on a schedule. How you manage your time and schedule work both at the office and home by dividing responsibilities wherever possible can help reduce a lot of stress. It helps you manage your work better, in turn, leaving enough room for you as a couple to have your time.
Leave room for some surprises too. Helping each other with chores, and surprising with gifts, small romantic gestures and voluntarily taking on responsibility can go a long way in building mutual respect and acceptance. It shows that you respect your partner’s time and commitment and would do anything to help reduce their burdens.
4. Win some, lose some
One cannot have it all. Prioritizing and compromising is the key to having balance. It’s important to work around the need of the hour and be able to shift responsibilities when needed. It not only helps get the job done but also builds trust between partners.
When you’re trying to strike work and home life balance, you need to know beforehand that sometimes your roles will have to be reversed depending on the need of the hour. Sticking to schedules goes a long way in helping but sometimes such situations arise where you may have to take up the responsibilities of the other person too. You need to be prepared for such situations.
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5. Choose your battles
If at the end of the day, you wish to come to a happy home and have a great time with each other, it’s important that you learn to choose what you wish to fight about and fight for. Avoiding and letting go of unimportant issues to prevent unnecessary tension between you will help you maintain a healthy work and life balance.
6. Keep the spark alive
Marriage or partnership is constant work. There are different phases in your relationship and each phase brings certain changes. During courtship, a half-hour phone call in the middle of the night could do the trick, and maybe now, a good relaxed meal at home or outside can help you have a good time together.
Recognize and learn what works for you and give yourself the chance to build on that spark. Have the “US” time. Balancing work and family doesn’t only mean raising your children when you’re at home, it also means spending time and unwinding with your partner.
If you have children, understand that the children came after you became a couple and they will eventually leave. You are a couple first and parents later, no matter how big a responsibility the child may be. Take help from neighbors, friends and family.
Not giving attention to your spouse and sharing intimate moments with them is actually one of the worst parenting mistakes you can make. The child needs to learn how relationships work and how much effort goes into nurturing a bond. However, if you are unhappy and find yourself struggling, couples counseling can help you achieve work-life balance to build a happier relationship.
Snigdha Mishra specializes in Depression & Anxiety Management, Anger Management, Relationship and Marital Counseling, Feminist Counseling, Stress Management, along with other Adult Life issues. She is now available for counseling on Bonobology and can be contacted along with the rest of our panel here.
If your day involves spending quality time with your family while also making progress in your professional life, you have a good work-life balance in your life.
Giving too much of your time and effort to only one aspect- either work life or family will deplete your motivation to do well in the other field and ultimately the balance will be lost.