As a healthcare leader, you feel pressure from many sources. Between your staff, board members and other executives, you must manage relationships with a lot of important people. And, that list doesn’t even include your family. Although work often gets in the way of home, home also should be allowed to get in the way of work. Sometimes though, the opposing pressure can get overwhelming.
Working parents face many challenges. Coordinating children’s sports practices, appointments, and after-school care can cause a lot of stress for anyone, let alone executives with demanding schedules. So, how can you balance your facility’s needs with your family’s? Read on to discover a few quick tips for balancing your time in the medical world and your home.
Don’t feel guilty
Even though it may be difficult, reframe the time you spend away to be positive. You’re adding value to your family dynamic. As a working parent, you’re being a positive role model for your children, showing them that they don’t have to choose between a happy family and a successful career. Instead, you can have both. When you’re at work, immerse yourself in your role and own your accomplishments. At home, try to mimic that mindset: immerse yourself in your family.
When you’re at work, you’re teaching your children the value of independence and you’re making it financially possible for them to receive care and participate in activities they might not have access to otherwise. Consider explaining to your younger children that the work you do is helping save other people’s lives. You may not see yourself in this light, and it may feel weird to say, but it can help make your departures feel more positive, even exciting. Try to imagine it that way yourself, too. Instead of thinking, “I’m leaving them,” reframe it to say, “I get to help run a hospital or health system and set a positive example for my kids.”
Keep your calendar current
Maintain an up-to-date home calendar so you can visualize each family member’s schedule. Color code your time off and that of your children’s other parent. Also, pick a color for each child’s respective activities and find ways to differentiate each person’s obligations. In addition to scheduling ease, younger children may appreciate this color coding to easily see when you’ll be home. This helps them count down so that they can look forward to your time with them.
Most importantly, make sure to review everyone’s schedules weekly to ensure there are no surprises. It might be a good idea to use Google Calendar and sync it with all family members’ calendars, including those of your older children. This way, no matter where you are, you can coordinate to make sure either you or your partner can attend each game or performance. Even if you can’t attend a notable event, you can still offer support through a quick phone call or text between meetings.
Establish a fun tradition
You may always head to a relative’s home for Thanksgiving, but what about creating traditions during the rest of the year? Movie night on Fridays? Taco Tuesdays? It doesn’t matter if the special night is weekly or bi-weekly but try to be consistent. Establishing traditions creates structure and allows your family to look forward to shared time with one another. These plans also help break up your time in the hospital. Your family will grow to cherish these fun occasions, so if you also honor them, it makes your time at home special and something to which you can look forward. Additionally, this instills positive priorities in your family. You’re demonstrating that not only is your job as a healthcare professional important, but your job as a member of the family is just as significant.
Don’t forget to set aside “me time.” Although a lot of your schedule is defined by helping others, be sure to schedule a bit for yourself. Self-care is important, especially when you’re constantly caring for patients and for your family. Take time to decompress and focus on a personal hobby or passion or you will quickly burn out, which will not help either your career or your household. Although it might seem extreme, consider using a special color on your calendar to differentiate your personal time. Remember, you must balance your own mental and physical health to keep simultaneously providing exceptional leadership at the hospital and being an A+ family member at home!
To help alleviate your workload, discover how Medicus Healthcare Solutions can help you with your staffing needs by calling 855-301-0563 to speak with an experienced business development executive today.