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How To Maintain A Healthy Balance Between Family and Work

I Want to Talk About ME!
By Brenda DeCroo, Spiritual Coach, ACC, MBA

Toby Keith sang this song a few years ago. The song is about his girlfriend always talking about herself and her life. And he never gets to talk about himself. It's a cute, funny song – one that sticks in your head (Sorry, but that's my intent. ;-)) Think about those lyrics and how they might apply to you. Does your life focus around taking care of the needs of everyone around you? There's feeding the kids, coordinating the family schedule, being a leader and team player at work, assisting elderly parents, volunteering at church, and on and on. So much of our energy as strong, caring women goes out to those we love and care for. Yes, we get fulfillment - these activities honor our core values.

And now, it's time for you to start humming the tune … "I want to talk about ME!" Go ahead – and get it spinning around in your head as you contemplate: What are you doing to make sure that you stay strong and healthy – so that you can continue to be your best self for those you take care of? What's going to happen if you continue to neglect your care? What are you going to do today? Stand up now. It's time for you to sing a bit of the chorus as you lovingly tell everyone else "I want to talk about ME!" And go do what you already KNOW you need to do. Enjoy!

Brenda DeCroo coaches women one-on-one and in small groups, and leads workshops and retreats for women. Learn more at TheAbundantWomanCoach.com or call (724) 524-0226.


Achieve Balance - Change the Rules
By Kerrie Boydman, LCSW

I don't think I can tell you how to maintain a healthy balance between work and family by developing a list of 10 things for you to do. I don't think there is an equation that I can give you. I think that the only way to achieve balance between any two things in your life is to change your perspective.

When I think about what prevents people from achieving balance, the word that comes to my mind is "should." A mother should be at home with her children. A wife should cook her husband dinner. A father should play ball with his son. A daughter should clean her room. In a society where the early bird get the worm and bigger is better, most people are running- rushing to be faster, stronger, more impressive than the next. People don't take on one role- they take on five roles.

Perhaps these expectations are reasonable. Perhaps they aren't. But who decided what should be? And why are we falling victim to these rules? The fact is that no rule works for everyone. Everyone has different limitations, and when we ignore these limitations our lives fall out of balance.

Take a moment and think about the "shoulds" that you live by. Which ones are you constantly fighting? And why are you still fighting them? Why not redefine your "shoulds" instead? I often suggest my clients track the times they think of the word "should." Try it for a few days and when you find out what your "shoulds" are replace them with a new statement or a new activity that takes the pressure off. If you feel you should cook dinner five times a week, cook three instead. If you feel you should take on that extra project at work, tell yourself there will be another project in a few months. Give yourself permission to take a step back. If you don't, who will?

Kerrie Boydman, LCSW, is a licensed therapist with offices in the North Hills and Mars PA. She offers counseling and therapy to individuals, couples and families to help clients improve their quality of life, explore areas causing them discomfort and identify and reduce feelings of shame. To learn more about her services, visit counselingpa.com or call (412) 444-5062.

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