How to Balance Work and Family

It’s a busy time of year. Yesterday my hubby and I celebrated his birthday with our kids. I had a wedding rehearsal on that same evening too. I have five more gigs from now till the end of the week and I’m still able to spend quality time with my family. How? Having a rainbow brain! It seems people have a black and white brain with boxes and limits. A ‘work’ box, a ‘family’ box, etc. I think of my priorities as ‘primary colours’ and blend them together. My priorities are: hubby, kids, music (work/charity). Let’s say my hubby is yellow, my kids are red and my music is blue. When I blend my priorities with one another it paints a pretty picture. So how do you practically blend them together? Getting the mix how you like it is an art. This is how I’ve done it this week.

So last night when I sang at a wedding rehearsal and it was my hubby’s birthday, my hubby and the kids dropped me off at the rehearsal, went to the park for an hour, then we went to Alfred’s together and enjoyed burgers in front of an open fire. Today I met with a lovely friend. When I meet with people, whether it be a friend, or for business, I make sure there is a play area for my kids. Today we went to The Sweet Remedy Café and my kids decorated cupcakes and played in the cubby. Our other favourite places are Taylor’s Café, Koorong, and when it’s raining Tuart Hill Maccas. I buy my kids a treat while we’re there, they have a play and I have a meeting. My kids aren’t perfect, and I don’t expect them to be perfect, but I feel confident knowing that they’ll listen to my instructions and know I’ll follow through if they don’t!

Tonight I’m singing at a high tea charity gig. I’m bringing my daughter Ashleya so she can get dressed up and enjoy treats knowing the other kids are in bed missing out- pure joy! She loves singing with me and selling CDs. Tomorrow on Friday night I’m singing at a country club but my hubby will be out watching the cricket with his mate. So we have a network of babysitters; nurturing, responsible girls aged 16-20 who have a lot of time and we pay them $10 to $15 per hour. We know quite a few so someone is always available even at short notice and our kids love hanging out with a cool teen babysitter!

On Saturday I’m singing at a wedding open day. Jewel can’t wait to get married, so I’m going to bring her with me. She loves all lovey-dovey wedding stuff! We’ll get a treat together on the way home. Then I’m singing at a country club that night and hubby will be home to spend time with the kids. On Sunday afternoon I’m singing at a wedding. We might all go together and the kids can play at a park and I can join them afterward.

It’s not always this busy, but when it is, I blend my priorities as much as possible. Of course I spend time with just my kids or just my hubby. It’s not always a blend. Yesterday the kids and I played Monopoly Empire just because we wanted to. The kids also know that we have an exciting SIX WEEK family holiday coming up where we’ll swim with dolphins and play endless games of Monopoly! So they know that we’re busy working for a purpose that will benefit our whole family. But it doesn’t mean that they will be neglected in the meantime. It’s just a matter of defining my ‘primary colours’, and thinking about how I can creatively blend them to paint a pretty picture! The secret here, is only having very few top priorities. This wouldn’t work if I had 10 different things at the top of my list. Too many colours mixed together always turns brown; it’s not pretty like a rainbow! This means I have already decided what I will say yes or no to, so that I can focus on painting a wonderful, colourful life for myself and my family.