3. Turn off the TV. This rule is a difficult one for my family to keep. Turning on our television is as involuntary as flipping on a light switch. But since I started enforcing TV-less afternoons, our family has spent more time talking, playing and dancing together. Instead of the television, we play music; the time my kids used to spend watching SpongeBob while Mom got dinner started is now spent dancing around the kitchen and singing Cake lyrics.
4. If you can afford it, outsource it. I know that telling people to pay someone to clean their house in times of economic hardship is absurd. That is not what I'm saying… exactly. What I am saying is that if you are overburdened by work, kids, husband and home, you most likely have a career. Along with your career, you may have a budgeted amount of cash to indulge in manicures, new shoes, eating out or daily lattes. The money you'd typically use to take a family of four out to dinner (somewhere other than a fast food joint) could be used pay someone else to scrub your toilets and floors once a month.
5. Ask for what you want. If your work schedule is not working for you, consider all of your options. Can you rearrange your hours, or work from home? Can you stay later some days so that you can leave earlier other days? Your boss might say no, but if you put real thought and compromise into a proposed schedule change, she might say yes. Or perhaps you need your spouse—or someone else in your life—to meet you halfway. Sometimes, all it takes is finding the courage to ask. Career And Family: Can We Really Have Both?
My life is as full as my first cup of coffee in the morning. There are still days when I feel like my head is going to explode. Between having a husband and two kids, a full-time career with part-time writing assignments, a house that doesn't clean itself (no matter how much I plead with it), and my first mini-marathon looming in the not-too-distant future, nobody is going to confuse me with the Dalai Lama. But using these five simple tricks continuously helps me appreciate all that I have instead of wishing any of them away.