Shaping your job to fit your family? Did you just roll your eyes? It's okay, most women do. Remember we are women, we don't ruffle feathers, we smooth feathers. We fix problems - but usually for others.
We know you may not feel comfortable asking your boss, supervisor, or co-workers for adjustments to your “normal” work schedule but most likely if you can find the courage to ask, you may be surprised with the answer. YES!
A baby step in shaping your job to fit your family, could be as simple as saying no. Let’s say it together, “No”. Very good. That wasn’t so hard was it?
Another could be adjusting your work schedule or changing your responsibilities or your job for a short time. There could be another mom wrecking her brain over how to adjust her schedule too – This could be a great opportunity to job share with her. Remember the answer is always no if you don’t ask.
Many of us moms, go way beyond what is asked of us. We contribute and contribute some more. Adjusting could simply be holding a boundary around answering emails or taking work calls after work hours or on weekends. Protect your vacation time. You earned that time and your family deserves to have you and your attention during that time.
Here are a few tips/resources around shaping your job for your family and flexible work schedules. Share your thoughts below or on Facebook and Twitter:
Forget 'Lean In': Here's How to Define Your Success as a Working Mother
Natalie Baumgartner writes in Entrepreneur magazine: “For my whole life, I’ve bucked the notion that there is only one way to do things, one definition of success. That "one definition" idea didn’t make sense to me when I was 4 and still doesn’t as I close in on 40. I believe that as women, as moms carving out our path in the business arena, we need to stop trying to figure out if we’re "leaning in" (a la Sheryl Sandberg's bestseller) or out and instead get clear on what "success" looks like for each of us individually.
Some of Natalie’s tips on adjusting your work life include: Ask for what you need and be creative about roadblocks
IDEAL TO REALITY: MAKING A FLEXIBLE Work-at-Home WORK SCHEDULE WORK FOR YOU
"I have a flexible schedule that not only allows me to control how and when I work but also lets me do a large chunk of work from home. I’m extremely grateful to have this arrangement. As attractive as flexible schedules can look on days when you’re weary of your 8-to-6, butt-in-office-chair job, they do come with challenges. Not that I would have believed that seven years ago. Oh, how I idealized flexibility back then. It would solve all of my problems. It would be the best of both worlds. Nirvana!
Well, reality always differs from the ideal. So if you’re thinking of pursuing a flexible schedule—especially one that entails work from home—I’ve got some tips."
The Benefits Of A Flexible Job And How To Get One
Forbes contributor, Bonnie Marcus writes “Traditionally, ambitious women have feared they would be penalized for taking a lot of time off because of their family. The current model of success in corporate America still consists of putting in long hours and being available 24/7. The model doesn’t align with family responsibilities and the desire to spend quality time at home.”
Bonnie shares the following four tips:
1. Be honest with yourself of what type of flexibility you want.
2. Determine what parts of your job you must do on-site and what you can accomplish virtually.
3. Look around in your office or your company and see if anybody else has that type of arrangement already.
4. Create a proposal.
Check out Bonnie's article above for specifics on these tips and these additional resources from FlexJobs and WorkOptions.
The Choice to Work or Opt Out—Is It Really a Choice?
One mom talks about her tough decision to stay home after the birth of her baby—and why flexibility in her workplace would have made all the difference.
"When we meet someone with kids and inquire as to what degree she works, we make the assumption her choice is exactly what she prefers. In reality, for many of us, satisfaction with either option is not so black and white.
Yes, it was my “choice” to stay home, but it was not what I wanted, at least, not full-time. When neither option is desirable, it’s a “false choice. ”
How Some Fathers Strike A Better Work-Life Balance
"We want to be there to see our kids grow up too."
More dad’s are adjusting their schedules to spend more time with their kiddos.
Dads: We Want Work-Life Balance, Too
Dual-income families have become the norm, with 60 percent of married couples now sharing the breadwinning responsibilities (compared to just 25 percent in 1960), and as women have been working more out of the house, men have been doing more in it. Today’s fathers spend nearly triple the amount of time with children than dads did in the 1960s, according to Pew, although they’re still spending less time with kids than women are.