My heart sinks when I hear my son say, “Daddy, I miss when you are away.” Between retreats, conference, and now travel for the book it gets hard to maintain the balance between home and work.
I’m not alone, just go on Facebook and read all the comments. It’s a struggle because you love what you do and you love your family. It can feel hopeless, but to maintain the balance you need to:
COMMUNICATE WITH LOVED ONES
Never leave anything up to assumption. Make sure you ask questions like:
- Have I been out too much?
- Do you need me around a little more?
- How has this week gone for you?
When you check in with loved ones you let them know that you care. It gives them permission to voice concern and let you know how they feel.
MAKE VACATION SACRED
A vacation with family (or by yourself) is no good if you are still connected to work. Shut off the phone, the wifi and disconnect from the grind. Not only will you refresh yourself, but your family will appreciate the attention.
FORM CLEAR BOUNDARIES
If you can’t afford fancy vacations make sure you are creating time when you can shut it off. Maybe it’s as soon as you get into the car to go home, on the weekends or at dinner time. No matter what make it clear.
Communicate them with coworkers and ministry leaders. Let them know how they can get in touch with you and when. People will appreciate the clarity.
GET ON THE SAME PAGE AS YOUR PASTOR
It’s not just important to communicate with family, it’s important to communicate with work. While you don’t want to cheat your family, you don’t want to cheat work. Talk about days and seasons in work where your presence is important. Take those dates, mark them down and make sure family is clear about them.
PRACTICE SELF CARE
Youth ministry is draining because you are constantly giving. This can deplete you and leave you empty for home life. Make sure you are working out your faith life so that family isn’t on the short end. Join a small group, journal, find quiet time prayer and just continue to build up spiritual disciplines.
Make sure you thank your family frequently for their sacrifice. Let them know that you love their support and you couldn’t do it without them. And then do the same for your coworkers, volunteers and pastor.
You need married youth ministers to surround you who understand the pressures of personal and professional. If they do not exist in your church look in the community for a veteran youth worker. Seek their wisdom and ask them to call you out if you do not respect the tension.
There will be tension. Even if you aren’t married the balance between home life and work can get tough. Embrace the tension and know that it’s possible to have a healthy balance.
Question: How do you keep the balance between personal and professional? You can leave a comment by clicking here.