Putting the “Work” in Work-Life Balance

When folks talk about having a good work-life balance, I always feel like one piece of the discussion is missing – the part about actually working. The truth of the matter is this: in order to have a good work-life balance, you must actually work. Shocking, I know! Let’s take it one step further, sometimes working more is the way to achieve good balance.

Many times, my husband and I will trade off on who stays home with a sick child, but my husband had been called out-of-town on one of his frequent business trips, so if anyone was going to stay home with the baby this time, it would have to be me. On the other hand, she didn’t have a fever at all, so I was not required to keep her home with me.

Look at the future

By coming back to work, telling my boss that my child was sick but I took her to daycare anyway, when I call in with a sick child, my boss will know that my child is really sick. In my situation, I’m often allowed to do some work from home, with supervisor approval. He’s going to be more willing to approve that if I’m not asking for that consideration every week and if he feels assured the request is legitimate.

Working Pays the Bills

I’ve documented here that we need every penny (and then some) to make ends meet, so unless I am required to take a child home, I’ll be at work. Otherwise, our whole lives will be out of balance, as we scramble to find money to cover bills.

Pushing the Limits

I don’t like to advocate for people coming to work sick – if you are contagious, you need to stay home or you are going to infect the whole office. But if you have a chronic illness (migraines, diabetes, IBS, whatever), come in to the office on days where you might not be up to par. Maybe you’ll feel better after you get there, maybe not, but attempt to reserve your time off for when there’s no way you can work. You’ll build up understanding within your office and they’ll know you must be really suffering when you can’t manage to come in.