Five Tips on How to Balance Family and Career

Hey guys! I’m Rebecca Bender, CEO & Founder of RBM. We’re a nonprofit that mentors sex trafficking survivors all over the world. We’re the only online platform to reach people in areas where services don’t exist. We also train and consult first responders: FBI, Homeland Security, VICE, SVU, ER doctors, service providers and more. I LOVE my job. But I am also a mother of four lively daughters, the hubs and I are going on seven years of marriage, I’m slowly finishing my masters degree and I’m working on a film project to bring the issue of trafficking out of handcuffs, kidnapping and duct tape, and shift our culture. Phew, that was a mouth full.

So how do I do it all? This is a question I get a lot and I’ll be real with you: it ain’t easy. It takes work and it takes planning and it takes a lot of help. So while I don’t have any easy fix all answer, I would like to share a couple tips on how to balance life, career, and passions (or is that all in one?) that have helped me.

Oh and one more thing- Where God guides, He provides. If He is calling you to balance all of those things, He will give you the grace and wisdom to do so, so keeping checking in with THE strategist cause there are times when my favorite ideas have had to be shelfed until they were ready.

Here are a couple of my tips to balancing work and home:

1. Look at your calendar on Sunday and start planning your home week around your career week. For me, looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. One week at a time and each night, plan for the next day.

{Example, on Sunday I looked at my calendar (that my assistant schedules) and saw that I had a flight to LA, a track meet, a grant report due and a field trip to gymnastics. Also, my aunt was having a baby, so my normal babysitter needed a backup in case she had to run to the hospital. This is where leaning on a really good support system is key.}

  • If traveling, pack light, (read blogs on how to make more outfits with less clothes).
  • Get your kids snacks and outfits ready for the week.

  • Plan your dinners for that week and if you need to, premake a casserole, or grab some crock pot recipes. I group ingredients in bags and tape a paper of “Monday, Tuesday” etc. Ask the sitter to throw your crock pot ingredients in for you.

  • Delegate someone in the office to help with any pressing work deadlines and be available to simply edit what they pull together.

  • Write out the schedule of pick ups and dinner if you are relying on help some days!

2. Set a “time off” boundary. This has been really hard for me to personally keep, but at 5pm my computer gets shut off. If I have things that have to get finished, I pick back up after the kids are in bed and me and himself (I’d do an Irish twang if you were here in person) have a bit of personal time. This allows me to be present for the family, because they are actually THE most important! Does this mean we work late into the night- your darn right we do if there is a big deadline pending!

3. Delegate. Build and invest in your team. Don’t be afraid to let them make mistakes. There is nothing that can’t be fixed. Allow them to develop their gifts too, by not taking control of every area. A book changed my life on this: “7 Practices of an Effective Ministry.” It taught me to put people in positions they play well and celebrate the wins.

4. Schedule in time for your marriage. Make it a priority to spend time together. While there, BE present- not checking emails or texts. (Believe me, I struggle with this too).

5. Create habits of personal morning meditation and prayer, an evening workout schedule, or whatever works best for YOU! This doesn’t have to be traditional. Sometimes my best meditation and devotional time comes at midnight and my best workouts are lunges in the grocery story.

Bottom line is SCHEDULE it all (even family and down time) and don’t be afraid to think outside the box with some things, let some things go, delegate others, and ALWAYS schedule and be present for your family.

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