Advice for Balancing Work and Family

Updated on April 10, 2008
S.I. asks from Austin, TX
7 answers

I'm struggling to figure out how to keep up with fiance, career and children. Before my divorce I was working part-time and liked the balance. For the past two years, I have been trying to manage a full-time job and have tried 4 different jobs since then. One had travel which I really did not like. Part of the problem is that the career (investmes business analyst) I chose is not a good fit so that I am pretty unhappy at work most of the time and stressed and worn out by the time I get home and try to salvage the last couple of hours of the day with the kids and fiance. He is very helpful so he does not understand why I am struggling and why I am so frustrated with feeling like I am having a hard time connecting with my family. I want to try changing careers and I am thinking about getting my teaching certificate and teaching in public school. I think I would enjoy that and be able to feel like I am making a difference and have more time to connect with my family. Does anyone have any tips on how they manage work and family? Or, any advice on taking the teaching route???

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your responses. Not yet sure what will happen but I have hope that I will figure out a way to make it work and find some happiness in the whole process of raising kiddos.

More Answers



answers from Houston on


My Mom did the exact thing you are thinking of, and she has never been happier. When I was young, she quit her full-time bookkeeping job to become an English and Art teacher. She got home the same time we did, was able to be involved in every activity, and had summers off with us! She never regretted her decision. She is now a librarian, and runs the best school library in the state of Louisiana! I'm so proud of her, and she has never had more job satisfaction, especially knowing she didn't sacrifice anything with us to achieve it.

Bottom line is... go for it! Teaching is a wonderful way to impact lives while still finding balance.

And since teaching doesn't pay much, you might consider a "Plan B"... I am a music teacher, and found my plan B in Ignite, switching my friends' and family's electricity to save them money.

Whatever you're called to, I hope you enjoy it, and it's the right place for you to be. Good luck!



answers from Austin on

Hi S.,
I have been working in the public schools for the last 15 years. Working in the schools is the most important, rewarding work I have ever done.
As long as you have and undergrad degree you can do alternative certification.
There is a program called UTeach - google it and the site will come up - they can help you to prepare to get in the classroom.
The most successful people in the program are those who are very organized, have a good grasp of the content area they are to teach, and get along well with others.
There is always a need for Special education teachers, math and science.
There is a job fair coming up next weekend in Round Rock, It might pay for you to update your resume and talk with some of the principals who will be there.
Good luck!
T. S.



answers from Austin on

I work full-time as a paralegal in a busy firm and have two-year old twins. My husband works full-time at a busy law firm also. I will admit, I can be pretty stressed and worn out by the time I pick up the kids. Then it's time to rush home, make dinner, play for a while, and go through their nighttime routine (bath, story, etc). Some days I let myself ignore housework or laundry and veg out with my husband on the couch after putting the kids to bed. I have really learned to let a lot of things go...being a neat freak is one of them. What really helps me balance my life is setting boundaries. When I started my current job I let them know I had to leave at 5pm every day to pick up my kids. If I need to work overtime, I come back to the office after we put the kids to bed. I also designate the weekends as family time. We take the kids out for pizza on Friday nights. Saturday and Sunday we hang out with the kids and put our chores off until the evenings. If we have to run errands, like grocery shopping or Costco, we do it together as a family and make it a special outing. The kids really like Costco because of the free samples :-) We take time to go out alone once or twice a month. By designating the weekends as family time, it makes it a lot easier to accept the fact that I only get a few hours a day with the kids during the week. Best of luck. P.S., Teaching would be a great compromise to your schedule, but it might take more out of you than your present career.



answers from Austin on

To help unwind at the end of the day I always put on music during the ride home, depending on my stress level for the day will depend on the music. Once I get home my husband gives me 30 minutes to just unwind, during that time I change clothes and put on lotion, the scent relaxes me and the massaging motion helps me to relax. It probably sounds odd but I need that me time.

Also, hire a housekeeper if possible so thats one less thing to be concerned about. I personally don't have one but a friend swears by it.

Good luck!


answers from Houston on

It is challenging to work and take care of your family. I can say I have been there it just wasn't for long. I was divorced with a child and soon remarried too. Sometime things happen so that you can get moving in the right direction. It's always a blessing to get another chance at love.
I worked very hard when I was in corporate america. I was grumpy when I got home even though I missed my kids while at work. When I saw them it was'nt quality time, I was too tired. I was always trying to find time for some of the things I wanted to do with my family.

If I were you I would write down what I wanted most! Then I would decide if the career I'm in will allow for it? Then I would look at the best and quickest way to achieve it. When you do those things consider a REAL, STABLE and Healthy alternative like I did. You can find out more from the web-sites below. My LIFE has changed and I found SOME balance between it all! give me a call###-###-####
A. B. J.D.
Life is Meant to be GOOD, Live Well



answers from Houston on

I have been thinking about doing the exact same thing. I have four kids, three of which have not started school yet. So I think that I may hold off for another few years. My husband got his alternative certification through Prairie View A&M and it did not take long at all. He went to classes on the weekend and taught during the week. He looked at classes online too. There are several programs where you can do the classwork that way, too. In the meantime if you fiance (congratulations, by the way!) is helping out financially maybe you can go back to working part time? I do and it is great. I can do it at night and on the weekends or whenever I have the time. Call me if you are interested, ###-###-#### or check my site



answers from Austin on

My best advice is to just try and take it one day at a time. I am not a teacher but I know many women who are and they all seem to love their job. I think you may get more out of it at the end of the day than what you are doing now, especially if you hate your job. Not to mention, you could enjoy the summers with your kiddos. If it's possible for you, I say go for it!

My husband and I lost our home in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina ( we lived in the New Orleans area). The year that followed was VERY stressful for me. I started doing Yoga and it had an incredible effect on me! It really teaches you how to relax and focus. It was a life-saver!

Also, keep your chin up! Try to stay positive! Know that you can do anything you put your mind to!

If you can spare a moment, check out my business website below. I make incredible income working part-time (I'm a stay home mom) and MY JOB IS FUN!!! You can do this while you go back to school. It sounds like you could use a pick me up! Call me if you would like to learn more!

Best of luck to you!
J. Furse

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