Balancing Your Family and Professional Life

Family and professional life both deserve attention. The most important thing is to give each one its own space and develop strategies that help you juggle them and enjoy quality of life.
Balancing Your Family and Professional Life
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Written and verified by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Since people have to do many things in a single day, they sometimes neglect certain important aspects of their lives. This is because balancing the routine between family and professional life isn’t always easy. Especially if you take into account the pending list of demands you carry on our shoulders. Thus, how can you reach a balance between your family and professional life?

It seems complicated, as working hours are often longer than they should be, vacations aren’t long enough, and some people often have to take on more than one job.

The work field is demanding, and so is the family. Suddenly, you find yourself immersed in this no-man’s-land without knowing how to attain a balance between your family and professional life. However, this is possible to do!

“Who could justify trading a lifetime of stress and backbreaking labor for better blinds? Is a nicer-looking window treatment really worth so much of your life?”

-Cal Newport-

A woman sleeping.

Balancing family and professional life

Firstly, you must take advantage of the present moment. It’s a matter of not remaining anchored to the past when it comes to thinking because it overwhelms you and feeds negative thoughts.

Of course, it’s also about not getting stuck in expectations. In other words, avoid thinking about what might happen later. You can create the right scenario for anxiety and frustration otherwise. Best of all, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. So why worry?

Living in the present moment is living in the “here and now”. It’s about taking advantage of what’s happening at every moment, second by second. Furthermore, it’s about enjoying your family when you’re with them but also paying full attention to your job duties during your working hours.

Now, thinking about work while playing with your children is either in your past or in your future, but not in your present. Doing so steals time from your family life and you can hardly solve it at that moment anyway. Thus, living in the present moment helps you balance your family and professional life.

Learning to delegate

Some people think they’re omnipotent and take on a lot of responsibilities. They impose it on themselves without realizing it. Of course, they feel overwhelmed as soon as they realize they can’t handle it all. The problem is that frustration grows and, sometimes, they explode on an emotional level.

You can prevent this situation by learning to delegate. Letting others help you will make your life easier. However, it isn’t a matter of not doing anything yourself but about not taking on more than you can handle.

This process may seem complex at first but it’s simpler once you begin. Here’s some useful advice:

  • Adjust your responsibilities.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Get to know your work team to know what responsibilities belong to whom and do the same with your family.
  • Give a vote of confidence to those you’ve delegated responsibility to.
  • Distribute the tasks and activities realistically.

You must learn how to delegate if you don’t. Thus, begin by knowing what your limits are.

Maintaining routines

Routines may seem boring to establish but there’s something nice about them: they help you organize your time! Thus, it’ll make it easier to balance your professional and family life.

Likewise, it’s useful to assign priorities. To do so, ask yourself what you need to do first and eliminate those things that consume a lot of energy and don’t make you happy, as long as you can, that is.

Also, you must schedule tasks realistically. Sometimes, people believe they’re going to be able to do everything and set unattainable goals. So take it easy!

A boy kissing a woman.

Managing emotions

This is vital for a compatible family and professional life. Not letting yourself get carried away by your impulses and identifying how you feel is key to your relationships. This is because, often, not how you feel determines your well-being but what you do with your emotions. Thus, it’s about how you respond to what happens to you.

In fact, James Gross, the director of the psychophysiology laboratory at Stanford University, says that managing your emotions can prevent diseases such as depression and borderline personality disorder.

Thus, the following may help:

  • Release tension through physical exercise or artistic activity.
  • Practice conscious listening.
  • Use breathing techniques.
  • Seek professional help.
  • Schedule a time of the day to worry about anything you want.
  • Reflect and wonder what will happen if you’re afraid and ponder a solution for it.

As you can see, managing the emotional sphere can be a good ally against stress, frustration, and nervousness.

Final notes about balancing family and professional life

Changing your job is another way to balance your family and work life. Also, you might want to move closer to your job so you don’t spend so much time traveling. Investigate your local labor laws to find out if you have the right to other types of work or situations.

Chilean psychologists Andrés Jiménez Figueroa and Emilio Moyano Días highlight the balance between family and professional life as a measure to guarantee a better quality of life. But what can you do if it’s out of your hands? The answer is simple: look for alternatives.

Consolidating family life is possible. Thus, identify your priorities, give yourself time, get to know one another, take advantage of every moment, plan your routines, and, above all, take care of others. However, keep in mind that you must take care of yourself first.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Jiménez Figueroa, A., & Moyano Díaz, E. (2008). Factores laborales de equilibrio entre trabajo y familia: medios para mejorar la calidad de vida. Universum (talca), 23, (1), 116-133.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.