Tips For Balancing Military Career and Family Life

Work/life balance 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 you and your family, here are some techniques to deal with the stress and sacrifice:

1. Balance doesn’t mean equal.
Work/life balance isn’t something you can calibrate, or something you split right down the middle. With a military career, you simply can’t spend equal time at home and at work. Instead 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 will always go exactly the way you want it to, 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.

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Posted on October 3 2016 in Blog

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