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How to Balance Military Career and Family Life

Posted: 10/3/2016 12:03:42 PM


Balance between work and home is a necessity when you have a career in the military. But attending every school assembly or family dinner can be tough, and in many cases, impossible. Instead of allowing your career to put a strain on your life at home, learn techniques like the ones below to deal with the stress and sacrifice:

1. Balance doesn't mean equal

The balance of work and home life isn’t something you can calibrate or something you split right down the middle. With a military career, you often simply can not spend equal amounts of time at home and at work. Instead you should think of balance as a constant shift. Learn new mantras and techniques on how to encourage positive thinking within your family when this type of shift happens. Not everything goes exactly the way you want it to all of the time. When that happens, do your best to adjust and move on.
2. Be intentional
Don’t leave family time up to chance. Plan date nights, family days and take advantage of your temporary locations by exploring the new city!
3. Disconnect
When you’re enjoying that family time, disconnect! This means no constant checking for texts and emails. Put family first when you’re home and be as present as possible.
4. Make career decisions family decisions
Communication is key! Whether it’s discussing a big career move or an upcoming deployment, understanding the impact of those decisions on a spouse/children and talking through it honors everyone’s personal goals and leads to an open environment to express thoughts and feelings.
5. Anticipate challenges and develop strategies
Accept the certainty of separation during deployment and expect trade offs and compromise when it comes to difficult career decisions. Those who foresee the challenges of a military career plus family life and confront hardships with eyes wide open will have an advantage over those with less realistic expectations.
6. Remember to recognize and appreciate the benefits of a military career
It’s easy to get caught up in the difficulties, but the self-discipline, respect, honor and  devotion to duty you’ll gain by serving your country is priceless. Knowing that you are proudly doing your part to carry on a tradition of selfless service makes you stand above the rest. We thank you for that.

Are you a servicemember? What tips do you have for balancing your career and family life? Share them with us on our Facebook!