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Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres, Cardiologist, Mother: Advice for Family-Work Life Balance

Am I missing my children growing up?

How do I find more time for them?

Could my money work harder?

“I would not be as successful as I am without the support of my family.”

Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres
Cardiologist and mother

You work hard to provide the best for your family, which may mean you miss important moments. Getting the balance right is difficult.
When asked, millionaires said their biggest regret is the time they’ve missed with family.
Yet 63% of millionaires with children at home believe a setback, like a market crash or job loss, would have a major impact on their lifestyle. So, they keep working.

A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences. Eating meals together, talking about the events of the day, sharing joys and defeats, doing household chores together and spending some evenings popping corn and watching movies are examples of shared activities. Some families even schedule one evening every week for special family activities.

Doing things, a child or spouse wants to do also sends a strong message of love. It’s a good idea to identify the things family members want to do together. In my family, we spend our summers showing goats together. Every weekend we pack up the coolers, show equipment, children, and goats, and we head to the next show.

Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time

How much time should families spend together? That varies from family to family. Families with young children usually spend the most time together because young children need a great deal of physical care and guidance. Families with teenagers may spend less time together because teens naturally want to spend more time with their friends. Single parents need a break from their children and may need more opportunity to enjoy the company of other adults.

Healthy families keep a good balance between “too much” and “not enough” time together. They spend enough time to satisfy all family members. Children learn to bring balance to their lives when they see their parents setting aside time for what they value.

If you are wondering whether or not you are spending enough quality time with your child, Michigan State University Extension’s Building Strong Adolescent program that can help you determine if you’re spending enough time with your child/children.

Where should you start if you’re not spending enough time with your children?

Start with the family meal. “A family that dines together stays together” is a phrase that I have heard for years. Having a meal with your children away from distractions such as the TV, video games and cell phones can help start those conversations that you would like to, or need to have with your children. For more information about family meal ideas go to Family Meals are Important.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension.

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