Balancing family and your job
These suggestions may help you talk to your employer about accessing some type of flexible work practice.
  • Are you familiar with your organisation's flexible work practices policy? If not, get it and read it.
  • Think about your current work schedule and the changes you might need to make to accommodate the flexible work practice:
  • What time do you usually start and finish work? What days do you usually work? Are you considering different start and finish times or days of work?
  • Think about your typical primary duties, tasks and responsibilities. What changes might need to be made to these?
  • How will your duties be fulfilled when you are out of the office, eg if you want to work part-time or from home on a regular basis?
  • What are your critical deadlines? How do you manage these currently? How will you manage these deadlines in the event you convert to a flexible work practice?
  • What impact (concerns and benefits) would your proposed changes have on internal customers, external customers, colleagues, your work team, your manager or supervisor and others? What solutions do you have to overcome these potential challenges?
  • Are there extra costs to set up your flexible work practice?
  • What are the benefits to you, your manager and your work team of you working flexibly?
  • How will the success of the flexible work practice be measured?


Other tips:

  • Buy simple clothes that are easy to put on and pull off small children.
  • Cut down on ironing - fold clothes as you get them off the line, buy clothes that don't need ironing, take clothes out of the dryer immediately and put them on hangers.
  • Keep a calendar and message book.
  • Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than you need to.
  • Rethink pets.
  • Avoid disruptions by having the answering machine on even when you are home and return all phone calls together when it's convenient for you. Limit the length of phone calls to make them efficient and effective.
  • Get into the habit of delegating tasks - take the attitude that others are expected to participate, establish the task and know how to break it down, communicate clear expectations, set standards, use effective communication skills and give positive feedback. Maybe use a points chart to show how much you appreciate the help.
  • Buy a microwave and a dishwasher, and outsource tasks that you don't like to do, like ironing or cleaning. Don't clean the house before the cleaner gets there!
  • Eat well 80% of the time (take away is ok sometimes). Plan meals ahead, make one shopping trip a week, use easy-to-prepare recipes and double them to keep meals in the freezer for when you don't feel like cooking. Teach and help your children to cook, and expect them to help.
  • Designate your busiest night as take-away night.
  • When dealing with children make it a game and keep a sense of humour.
  • Use discipline methods that are over in one night rather than prolonging it for a week.

Excerpt from Balance - A guide for busy mothers managing work & family, by motherInc. and Nurofen for Children.