Sometimes the day to day task of managing our home lives and our work lives feels overwhelming and as much as we try to separate them, there is bound to be some cross over between the two.
You may be working on a big account or project at work and feel guilty that you are putting a strain on your relationship, or worry that you haven't tucked your kids into bed for the past three nights.
Alternatively, you might feel guilty that you've had to leave early to pick your child up from nursery every day this week and you know you have a doctor's appointment next week, not to mention you're sure your child is coming down with a tummy bug!
Work-life balance tips
We don't always feel guilty all the time, and a certain amount of guilt is healthy, but it's time to take control, ditch the guilt and start living in the moment. Remember, guilt exists to alert us that we are hurting others, but feeling guilty doesn't make you guilty.
There are many elements to getting the balance right, so we asked coaches Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, founders of Women Returners, and Lyndy Stanway Marsh to give us their work-life balance tips - so you can learn how to juggle, and ditch the guilt.
Steps to ditch the guilt
Guilt as a working parent
Parents don't have to feel guilty about leaving their children in the care of others. Remember that children thrive with happy parents, and that good quality childcare doesn't harm your children. It is better for you to be in a situation where you are fully present during time with your children than to try and handle everything at once.
Another important facet of ditching the guilt is to remember that you are good-enough; aim to be a good-enough parent, partner, or employee, and not a perfect one. It's important to work out your priorities, and delegate other tasks where you can - you are not super human!
If you feel that other people are judging you based on your lifestyle and work choices, you should ignore them as other people have different values. It's important to put practical and emotional support in place - we all need it!
Starting to tackle guilt
You should follow this process to tackle your guilt:
Acknowledge your guilty feelings - ignoring them won't make them go away.
Investigate what triggers your guilt. Is it particular situations or a general daily guilt? Is there any evidence that you are hurting others? Or are you hurting yourself?
Take action to let go of unhelpful thoughts and to make practical changes to your work or personal life. Focus on easing your trigger points. Small changes can make a big difference.
Juggling work and family life
Control what you can
Control the 'controllables' and the rest will take care of itself! Being able to draw on the knowledge that you are doing the best that you can in the current situation with the resources you have available.
Focus on what's desirable
You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want. If we focus on feeling guilty you get stuck in that pattern. It is easy to get trapped into it and we carry this feeling of guilt around wherever we go.
A good business motto to have is 'if you want something different, you have to do something differently'. Keep adapting to end up where you want to be.
Care for yourself
Make your own self-care a priority. It's important to look after yourself so that you maintain a sense of who you are. Besides, you're not able to even think about others if you are too run down.
Be a role model
Children are great modellers and do as we do, but not always as we say. They pick up on what we are doing and how we are feeling; so if we are happy with leaving them, and they feel we trust the carer, they will too.
Form the right habits
Create a habit of having one family meal together a week and being fully present; this will work wonders towards guilt alleviation and family bonding.
If you want to ditch the guilt, start a new thought pattern. Tell yourself what you need to hear, e.g. "I am a fabulous and successful parent". Whatever the right words are for you, you need to practice them to start believing them.