Tips for creating balance between work and family life.

A mom shares a quiet moment with her son and daughter during a Lake Michigan photo shoot.

Let’s cut to the chase.. if you work and you have a family, you’ve likely felt the push pull between your work and family life. When you’re killing it at work you feel like you’re failing your kids and partner. But when you are rocking parenthood you feel like you’re dropping the ball at work.

If you’re anything like me the pull can start to feel overwhelming and… just sad. As a mother who wants to cherish every single waking (and sleeping) moment with my little ones while they are still little, having to step away to work can almost feel like too much on some days. Even if it’s a job that I am passionate about.

This being said, I have recently been forced to take a break from everything and think about my priorities and how to make the most out of what I WANT and not neglect my responsibilities.

So I’m sharing some tangible tips I have found to be the most helpful in allowing me to feel like I’m still getting the best time with my kids and husband while also running a business from home.

So here we go:

Set Realistic Expectations

It’s okay not to be perfect. Balancing a career and family means acknowledging that not every day will be flawlessly balanced. Give yourself grace. This is more of a mindset thing, but if you can learn to give yourself grace the following tips will feel more doable.

Quality Over Quantity

It’s not about the number of hours spent together, but the quality of those moments. Even 15 minutes of 100% undivided attention can mean the world.

Create Family Rituals

 Establish simple routines, like a bedtime story or a weekend breakfast, to ensure regular family bonding time, no matter how hectic life gets… find something that will be easy to stick to. Every Friday is family night for us and we do a nice breakfast on Saturdays. These are times that I have set aside for my family only.

Delegate and Share Responsibilities

Sharing household responsibilities with your older children can create a supportive family environment and kids (usually😘) like to feel like they are helping out. Make a game out of it with music and singing!

Disconnect to Reconnect

Set aside time to disconnect from work (eh hem.. phones too 🫣) completely. When you’re with your family, be with them wholeheartedly. This is probably the most important thing that I’ve done. It is freeing to disconnect from everything else and BE with my family. I realized that nothing happens with work (or anything else) that can’t wait until I was reconnected. This feeling like we have to be available and connected every second is a huge problem. And bonus…time seems to move a little slower when you’re spending quality time with your family and not pulled in every direction!

If you set aside work time and family time and commit to both during the designated times you will feel like you are giving a little better to each. At least it has helped tremendously for me! I hope you find something useful as well!

Alissa Saylor is an award winning lifestyle and portrait photographer in west Michigan specializing in intimate motherhood, family, baby, maternity, and newborn photography. 

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