Assessing Priorities in Your Parenting

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Below are six questions you can discuss with your parenting partner, your children, extended family, friends, clergy, counselors, or any other member of your parenting support network to get a better idea of how well you’re managing your work-life balance, as well as how you might be able to improve it.

1. What are the top three priorities in my life right now?

Think about what you spend the most time, energy, and money doing. If you give it some thought, you might be surprised to find that some of the things you thought were very high priorities get moved to the back burner when other things come up.

2. On a scale of 1 (not at all satisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied), how satisfied am I with each of these areas of my life?

Be honest—if you feel that you’re having difficulty in a certain part of your life, take note of it so you can address it in the future.

3. How is my work life supporting these priorities?

Does your job leave you with enough time and energy to do the things you want to do and focus on the priorities you listed above?

4. How is my work life getting in the way of focusing on these priorities?

Think about things that are related to your work that might not fall during your standard workweek, including the time and money you spend commuting, any weekends or holidays you work, bringing work home, and stress that’s added to your life because of your job.

5. What is one thing I could change to make me more satisfied with these priorities?

Many parents have taken advantage of conveniences offered through their workplace, such as telecommuting or flexible scheduling; others have taken action at home by sharing more responsibilities with their spouse. Think of ideas that will help you focus on your priorities.

6. What are three steps I can take toward making that change?

Now that you’ve got a goal, how will you work toward it? Break it down into steps so it’s easier to take on.