Wake up. Feed kids. Clean up. Drop them off at school. Clock in. Work hard. Pick up kids. Bang out after-school activities. Help with homework. Make dinner. Clean up. Put kids to bed. Fall down. Do it all again tomorrow. Rinse and repeat until they're off to college, cherishing every well-earned hug and kiss along the way.
It's a bittersweet grind, the full-time working parent juggling act. To survive with sanity intact, we harried, guilt-ridden moms and dads have to let go of one big thing: perfection. Even the best jugglers drop the ball once in a while. When you do and, trust me, you will--like when you show up late (or not at all) for your son's violin recital because a client meeting went long or you're too exhausted to throw the ball out front with your daughter--go easy on yourself. Skip the shame spiral. You're good enough, you're smart enough and, doggone it, you're doing the best you can to keep it all together and that's all you can do.
Keeping it all together isn't a willy nilly, fly-by-the-seat-your-pants deal, though. Corralling career and kids requires lots of flexible prep, an always changing plan of attack that includes certain carefully plotted strategic steps. (Do we sound like parents or what?) From meal planning to chore charting, to creating a family calendar to, yes, even scheduling some restorative downtime for yourself, you can minimize the inevitable stress and chaos that comes with trying to balance family and career.
Here are nine quick work-life balance tips to give you a lift, neatly bundled into the infographic below, care of the good folks of SerenataFlowers.com.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.
Main photo from Flickr (Dan Taylor)