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12 Ways To Balance Work and Family*

As a working dad, it can be difficult to find time for family. Your duty to work and family can create stress and conflict in your life. If you feel this way, you aren't alone.

  • 71 perfect of men today say they would take a pay cut if it meant they could have more time with their family
  • Both men and women rank family time as more important than money, power, or status

The truth is that the clash between family and work is a challenge for working dad.s But there are many things you can do to help you succeed at work and at home. Here are 12 ways to help you balance your work and family time.

  1. Tell Co-workers About Your Family Commitment

    Talk with your friends and boss at work about your desire to balance work and family. This will help show them that you won't sacrifice family for your job.

  2. Make Your Boss Your Ally

    Working with your boss requires honesty, trust, and hard work. Work with your boss to create ways that help you meet your duty to both your job and family. One great way is to record your progress on the job in a weekly report to your boss. This way, you are judged on what you do and not just when you're present.

  3. Stay Busy and Focused

    Get your job done during the day so you can ge thome to your family. Close your office door, hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your cubicle or simply avoid office gossip. Let people know that you mean business when it comes to getting the job done. At the end of the day, you can relax knowing that you put in a full day of work.

  4. Be A Team Player

    Offer to help your co-workers and manager on special projects. It's a great way to prove that you can be flexible when needed. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and they'll help you balance your work and family.

  5. Be Choosy With Special Jobs

    Think before you agree to overtime work or special jobs. It may be tempting to have the extra money or respect, but it may mean you'll have less time with your family.

  6. Show Your Family Commitment

    Display things like your children's artwork and family photos at the office so that everyone can see how committed you are to family. Also keep a scheduled family commitment just like you keep a work commitment. People will quickly learn to respect bother your time at work and with family.

  7. Use Work Benefits That Help You Balance Work and Family

    Your employer might offer benefits like flextime, shift swapping, telecommuting, paternity leave, or leave banks. Use them to help you with work and family time. If your employer doesn't have these benefits, talk with your human resources office about offering them.

  8. Make Career Decision As a Family

    Try to find a job that limits stress when trying to balance work and family. As you consider new work or a promotion, compare the benefits of the job to how it will affect your family time.

  9. Limit Work on Weekends, Vacations and Holidays

    Don't make a habit of working on your days off. You need time away from work to focus on family time. Have a co-worker cover your work during a vacation. This will keep you from worrying about it while you're gone.

  10. Be With Your Family Every Day

    Spend time every day with your children and, if married, with your wife. Don't limit family time to the weekends. Find times and events that are just for family. Tuck your kids into bed, take an evening walk, or simply have dinner or breakfast together. This will help you stay connected to your family. If you don't live with your children, try to spend as much time with them as you can. Find ways to talk with them every day over the phone or by e-mail.

  11. Create "Family Prime Time"

    Create a daily block of time for family called "family prime time." Turn off your cell phone, laptop, and pager, and keep your work off-limits during this time.

  12. Place Your Commitment in Writing

    Create and sign a "family contract." Have your children and, if married, your wife sign it, too. Put in writing that you will balance success at work with success at home so that you can be an involved, responsible, and committed father. Read this contract at the start of every week to remind you of this commitment.

* These tips are product and publication of National Father Initiative can found and purchased in brochure style at Fatherhood.org.

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101 Fathers and Father-figures speak

1. Name: Bill Monning

2. Occupation: California State Assembly member

3. How many children do you have or you are father-figure for? 2 daughters

4. What does fatherhood mean to you? Fatherhood represents one of life's greatest joys and one of life's most humbling responsibilities. I feel incredibly fortunate to have 2, healthy, adult daughters with whom I enjoy a very close and mutually supportive relationship.

5. What is the best part of being a father or father figure? The joy of watching a child grow from infancy and dependence to adulthood and independence.

6. What is the challenging part of being a father or father figure? Realizing that a father or father figure is a role model 24/7 - all the time. As human beings we manifest our frailties and it is important that children see how we deal with disappointment, challenges, loss, and life as well as how we display love, joy, and the fulfillment in giving to others.

7. What advice do you have for fathers or father figures in our community? Realize that you have not only a tremendous responsibility, but also a gift to teach and learn from your children. By being mindful of presenting a strong role model, children can help us to become better individuals and better members of our communities.

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