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Balancing Work and Family: My experiences

I one time had an opportunity to teach and also do administrative work. I did this for a semester and wow! What an experience it was! Like any other profession, teaching keeps you yearning for new knowledge and of course gives you that pride of contributing to economic growth of the nation. I must say I enjoyed that moment. However, it came with its challenges.

Late one evening, I slipped into their room as I arrived home from work so that I could give them a good night kiss, only to find them wide awake. “Hello mummy today is my birthday mummy! You forgot!” You did not bring my birthday cake and a gift to school,’ my six (6) year-old boy said.

Somewhere between the newsletter deadlines, Skills Development training, lecturing in the evening and the to-do list, I had forgotten the most important ministry God had entrusted to me , my family.. It had been weeks since my children and I had a dinner together and I know things needed to change and very fast. Instead of focusing on work only, I needed to focus on my family and let them know they were just as important as my work.

Every morning we set out to meet our work goals and somehow in the midst of it all, we forget that waiting at home is that young boy or girl wanting to play and read a story for you, that teenage girl or boy who needs to talk to you about his or her body changes or that spouse that needs to be treated with all the attention we used to give when we were dating. Why does it happen? How does it happen? How can you prevent it from happening to you?

What is the real goal that you are striving for? Is it possible that the goals you are pursuing have edged out your precious family or that spouse you were madly in love with during your courtship days ? They need some of your best time not just your leftover time and this is how I did it.

I Got my family together and crafted a family mission statement. It is just as important to family as it is in the workplace. It is important that my family is on the same page in terms of my life purpose and the principles that would govern out time together. We designed our family mission statement into the shape of a house, with walls of laughter, doors of prayer and windows of love. I have created out time for my family each week in advance. It is put on my calendar and I have stopped saying I have to get one more thing done before I leave for home or pick my children from school. I plan my week with specific ending times and stick to them.

There are times when certain tasks require excessive hours to get the job done. I have learnt that I cannot accomplish these tasks alone, I stopped trying, I delegate as much as I can . Some days I just cannot achieve a balance, so I decide the to-do list at work could wait. The fond memory I gave family will last forever.

Erina Najjingo – Editor

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