If you’re reading this article it probably means that you are either experiencing pain from having a poor work home life balance or you have just changed your circumstances … maybe started a family … and are wondering if work home life balance is possible.
Having survived the consequences of not having a healthy work home life balance and being forced to make changes, I can personally attest to the fact that that it is not only possible to have a great work home life balance … but it is also highly desirable and beneficial to do so.
In this article you will discover some of the consequences of not having a healthy work life balance. These consequences are ones that I have experienced personally and also include examples provided to me by employees in companies where I have run work home life balance programs.
The early consequences of not having a healthy work home life balance …
When your work home life balance first starts to wobble out of balance you will begin to notice things like this:
- Your partner will start nagging, ‘You’re never home’, ‘The children miss you’, ‘This isn’t what I agreed to’, ‘We never see you’, ‘Your work is more important than your family’ . Heard any of it before?
- Feeling guilty when you are at work because you are not with your family. This is worse if you feel you have left your partner to shoulder most of the emotional responsibility in the family.
- Feeling guilty when you leave work ;. guilty that you have left other people in the office, you didn’t finish a job, you are jeopardising your career opportunities. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all the conversations that go around in your head.
- A constant niggling feeling of inadequacy; you never seem to be either a perfect partner, parent or employee. This will sting particularly if you are used to being a perfectionist.
- A general decline in the amount of time you spend maintaining your health. Initially you will find that you are gradually putting on weight and experiencing difficulty doing things you used to do easily.
- You experience loss … you miss many of the important milestones and memory making moments in your family because you are at work or away travelling
- Dissatisfaction with loss of personal time … by the time you have met the demands of all the other people in your life there is nothing left for you … not much of a life is it? The things that you used to love doing gradually get moved into the garage and then sold … and one day you find that it is years since you made time to do things you used to love doing.
The later consequences of not having a healthy work home life balance …
Juggling everything in life can be like trying to hold water in your hands. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, small drops keep escaping. One day you look down and all that is left is the memory of the water that was once there. If you don’t get a good work home life balance; then in the same way that water slips through your fingers, you may let slip:
- Your relationship with your partner and even your children through sheer neglect. Unfortunately sometimes the hurt felt by your loved ones is bigger than they can forgive and the consequences of this are unpleasant. This can leave you with a quite bitter taste in your mouth as you will justify your position by saying to yourself that you ‘did it all for them.’
- The opportunity to help shape your childrens’ characters. Their characters will have instead been shaped by the people they spent the most time with. This is one of those losses you can never recoup.
- The future you had planned … you may be staring down the barrel of a life filled with solitude and quiet rather than loved ones and laughter.
- Career prospects because you didn’t communicate with your employer about your needs at home and organise some alternative arrangements for a few years.
- Poor health because you neglected it for so many years … there just wasn’t time to fit in exercise and now you are paying the terrible price for it. Fortunately, unless you have done permanent damage to your body, this is one of those things you can often reverse through better diet and more exercise.
- Low self esteem because you failed at some of the most important things in life … you failed to keep the promises you made to your partner all those years ago and you failed to keep the promise you made to yourself about your family. You let down people who relied upon you.
I didn’t get my balance right and became seriously unwell. I was too busy to exercise because I was so caught up in climbing the ladder and juggling childcare arrangements with my husband. I didn’t always eat as healthily as I would like. My health issues became so severe that surgery was required. Through the pain and the long recovery process I came to learn three very vital things:
- If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. It is your health that enables you to work, play and really enjoy life. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, there is always time to look after your health.
- To your loved ones you are not replaceable … but to everyone else you are.
- A moment lost is gone forever. Every milestone you miss is a milestone you will never see.
The things you can easily do to have a better work home life balance will be discussed in future articles.