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Questionnaire: Is Your Home/Work Balance Right?

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 19 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Work Home Balance Juggling Family

Working mums want to do it all, but that's not really possible. It can be incredibly difficult to strike the right balance, especially if you have a demanding boss or small children who constantly crave your attention. That's why more often than not we find ourselves suffering massive guilt over the tiniest thing, and beating ourselves up for not being Super Mum.

It can be hard to accurately assess whether we are getting the balance right, but juggling work and home life - and juggling it well - is really what it's all about. Take our quiz to see how well you think you're doing. The results could surprise you – and may even spur you into action to take some time out for yourself...

1) How many times in the last month have you been able to read your littlest one a bedtime story, and tuck her up in bed?

  • a) Excuse me? I don't even see her Saturday mornings, I'm so knackered from work that we've hired a weekend nanny to look after the kids.
  • b) On a good week I'm there about half the time, but there are weeks when I can't be there at all and she gets incredibly upset...
  • c) Almost every evening, although when I'm not there her daddy/nanny/Auntie Julia is there in my place. She knows Mummy has to work, but I balance late evenings at the office with early ones at home with my family.

2) How often do you and your partner have a night out?

  • a) Let's see, does our honeymoon back in 1998 count?
  • b) I always try to go out at least once a month but sometimes that falls through...
  • c) My partner and I schedule a “date night” on average about once a week, but we also try to have regular family dinners where we all eat together with the kids. I relish having the time to be part of a couple – and a family.

3) Your son lands the lead in the school play, but your boss is demanding you work late every night the week of his performances. Do you...

  • a) Panic. I never know when I'll be able to leave work by 9pm, let alone make time to see his play. I know he'd be devastated if I missed it, but I just can't say “no” to my boss...
  • b) I'll probably pull a sickie one day, or leave work early with a tummy ache, although I already know I'll miss his grand finale on Saturday. We have a big work do on that night. It's only a party – but I do love being part of the office crowd!
  • c) Talk to my boss and work out a deal about coming in early to make up the time. My son has always been into drama, and this is his big chance. I can't wait to see him on stage – camcorder in hand - as I know my boss and I can come to some type of agreement. We always do.

4) Do you have any hobbies/keep fit routines/interests in which you regularly indulge?

  • a) Does running to meetings count?
  • b) I'm juggling too much – although sometimes that means I have free time. I had a full gym membership last year, I went three times a week for two months then didn't have the time to go back until July...
  • c) I do Pilates once or twice a week, sometimes during my lunch break, and regularly take an evening adult education course. My boss encourages me to keep my brain active, and keeping care of myself is good for me, my work, my kids and my partner...

5) When was the last time you had a girly weekend with your old mates?

  • a) The last time I was alone with a group of women was when I was in the ante-natal ward after I gave birth to my second.
  • b) I regularly schedule time with my friends, although I've cancelled so many times they're mad at me. I have so much on my plate that I just can't seem to stick to any plans these days...
  • c) We religiously meet up once a month for an evening out, and plan weekends away twice a year. There's nothing like old friends to keep you grounded, without them I'd be lost!

How Did You Do?

Mostly A's You're working far too much and never have time for your partner, your children or yourself. If you don't take a step back and slow down, you'll burn out before you know it. Get the balance right – before it's too late.

Mostly B's Your head's in the right place, but unfortunately you are always running around like a headless chicken. Slow down and evaluate the choices you've made, you're doing so much that you're not doing anything well.

Mostly C's You seem to realise that getting the balance right is what it's all about, and you seemingly have it all. Many women would envy you as you know when to say no, and what your life priorities are. Well done!

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