Balancing family obligations with work is something that many people find challenging. Based on our stage of life our responsibilities are continually changing. As you move from the free and easy single days as a young adult our life begins to change. This may include finding a partner and taking on more responsibility at work. If you decide to have children that puts a whole other twist on your routines and commitments. Something that many families are facing is also finding a way to balance the needs of aging parents.
Our life expectancies have been on the rise for many years. Which we can enjoy due to increased access to medical care and other lifestyle changes. However, this also means that for many families they may need to find a way to look after aging parents. One of the realities of getting older is that you may not be as independent as you once were. My mother always used to say, “Getting old is not for the weak of heart”.
If you find yourself in the role of a carer there are lots of factors for you to take into account. First, you need to be honest with yourself as well as the rest of your family about what you can reasonable offer. For some this may be a lot of time or energy for others not as much. Second, what other commitments do you have that may impact your ability to consistently offer support? This is where the balance of work, family and self becomes tricky.
The sandwich generation is made up of this 1.5 Million Australians who are attempting to balance work, children, retired parents, partners and still find time for themselves. It becomes important to be clear about your priorities to help you focus on what is most important. This may be confronting for some who had previously happily focused on moving up the career ladder. You may find that it is more important to fulfil your obligations to children, parents, or partner. This may lead to your conscious decision to plateau your career for now or even change direction.
Where to go from here
Making major recalibrations to life directions can be done with grace or resentment. The choice is yours. If you are facing some of these choices, you may find an article that I contributed to on the APIA Insurance site helpful. They also have a free guide to help you in planning some of these life transitions.