Being a divorced dad with children to care for is a full time job on its own. Unfortunately, it gets even more challenging when you throw a career into the mix.
On one side you’ve got projects to complete, clients to satisfy, or a boss to appease. On the other side there is school, helping with homework, disciplining, and all the daily chores that come along with parenting.
Even if you and your ex-wife share these duties, you are essentially taking on the role of two people when it’s your week to keep the kids. While I’m someone who often has a difficult time focusing on a good meal and the TV at the same time, I do believe that just about any father can find an agreeable balance between their work and family life.
Get Your Priorities Together
Successfully balancing your career and life at home with the kids starts with defining your priorities and understanding their impact. Fail to do this, and you could easily end up forsaking one important variable for the other.
For instance, if you put your career first, it could pay off in terms of moving ahead and being more financially stable, but also put a strain on your family life in the long run. On the other hand, putting certain elements of work on the back burner for the sake of family could lead to stronger bonds within your household, but hinder your ability to advance in your career. Though family should always come first in my personal opinion, I think that finding a happy medium is necessary as both are very important to your well-being.
When laying out your priorities, you should try to be clear and honest about what you consider important in your life. This not only includes your career and children, but also other things you value that could possibly factor into the overall picture. Determining what you value most is as easy as breaking out the old pad and pen. Simply jot down as many priorities as you can think of, narrow them down to what you deem to be the 10 most important, and then rank them in order of importance.
Once you have your top priorities laid out, you will have a clearer picture of what it takes to find the balance you seek. It would probably be a good idea to revisit this list from time to time because as we all know, our priorities have a habit of changing.
Stick to Your Guns
Your balancing act might be much tougher if you do not practice discipline by setting some firm boundaries and adhering to them. For some fathers, this could mean pulling back from work, and for others, it could mean reducing your participation in outside activities and sacrificing some of your own needs.
I believe that guys who set and stick to their boundaries are able to manage successful careers and a healthy home life, all while minimizing the stress and burnt out feeling that tends to accompany both tasks.
Contel Bradford is a professional freelance writer, journalist, and published author of multiple books. He specializes in many areas, including legal, divorce, and family-related topics. You can learn more about his services by visiting www.contelbradford.com.