Balancing Your Needs With Your Dependents
Balancing life and personal commitments can be a difficult procedure. If you also have to consider the needs of dependants this will create additional pressure to juggle responsibilities, time, finances and many other considerations. Your own personal needs therefore may easily find themselves at the bottom of the list of priorities.
Find the Perfect BalanceFinding the right level of balance takes time and effort. As a parent you will have many important priorities to consider before you create the time to think about your own personal needs. Ensuring you find the time to consider your own needs, however, is an important step in creating balance within all aspects of your life. There are many useful tools and resources available that may help you set aside sufficient time to identify ways of creating positive improvements in your life. Once you are able to strike a positive balance, you will also discover an improvement in the relationship you share with your child/children (see our article on Developing The Relationship With Your Child on this site.)
Be AccountableLearn to take full responsibility for your thoughts, actions and commitments. By acknowledging all that you do, you will be able to gain a better understanding of your personal needs, which will help you create the time and space required to find balance. Being a parent may leave you sometimes feeling emotionally and financially stretched so it is important to self assess your personal situation from time to time. Acknowledging challenges and difficulties as they arise, instead of allowing them to pile up, will also enable you to find workable solutions more quickly and efficiently.
Defining Your NeedsYou will not be able to achieve a good level of work/life balance until you are able to define your personal needs. It is therefore useful to draw up a list that highlights the needs of your dependents as well as your own. This will help you identify priority needs and commitments and lesser requirements. You will need to consider your working role and responsibilities and your parental duties and obligations. Added to the list may be stress, financial concerns, problem solving and other issues that occasionally tip the balance. By defining your needs you will be able to get more clear about what you want to change and improve, as well as the things that are already working in harmony.
Consider Child Care OptionsPersonal needs are not the same as parental responsibility so it is important to acknowledge that you have to consider both. From time to time your own needs may impact on the level of parental care you are able to provide at a particular time. This is when consideration of childcare options may provide a suitable solution.
If your own personal needs are regularly met and adequately balanced you will be more able to consistently provide a good level of care, support and effective parenting. Taking good care of yourself ensures you are confidently and competently able to care for the needs of others. Communicating this message to your dependents means that they too will be willing for you to make the necessary adjustments and improvements.Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.