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Achieving that elusive work/life balance sometimes feels impossible. You need to work to earn a living and support your family, but often long hours and lengthy commutes can lead to you running out of time to actually spend with your family. When you get home from a long day at work, the endless stream of chores seem to always keep your hands tied -- from cooking dinner, to washing up, to vacuuming and then hanging out the laundry. But there is a way to achieve a healthier balance in your life and keep not only your kids happy, but also a positive mental state! Read on for our best tips to making more time for your precious kids.
Put it in the diary
Schedule time with your children and partner just as you would schedule in a work meeting or doctor's appointment. Put it in your diary and make sure you stick to it. Whether you've planned a Friday night in cooking dinner and watching DVDs together, or maybe a Sunday excursion to your local national park or beach, lock it in and say no to whatever else pops up. If your boss has a last-minute request, remind him/her that this is your designated time off and you already have plans you can't break. Easier said than done, sure, but you're entitled to enjoy your after-hours leisure time without feeling guilty.
When you're spending time with your kids, its important to always make sure you log out and tune in. Focus on being in the present moment and giving all of your attention to your children, instead of being distracted, checking your emails and taking phone calls. Forget the rest of the world for a moment and simply enjoy getting to know your incredible kids.
Share the workload
Kill two birds with one stone by spending time with your kids as you get the housework done. While they may not take too kindly to vacuuming duty, they'll love planning the weekly dinner menu and helping you cook up fun dishes like pizza or cupcakes. Other tasks they might enjoy include food shopping, gift shopping and gardening.
If you feel like your time is torn between the office and home, leaving absolutely no time for exercise, why not start up a regular exercise routine with your kids? You could enjoy weekly Saturday morning hikes or beach swims, or aim to get up a little earlier each morning to go for a quick bike ride or stroll around the block.
Limit other activities
If your to-do list is getting too much, it might be time to take the pressure off. Cut back on your daily tasks and consider limiting your children's co-curricular activities or playdates too.
Make use of travelling time
If you spend a long time each day commuting to and from work, perhaps you could use that time to chat with your kids. Grab a hands-free phone connection for your car so you can catch up on their day even when you're unable to be physically near them.