Work-Life Balance

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Work-Life Balance: Tips and Empathy

By Rachel Dornhelm

Karen Witham reads to her children, giving her husband a chance to recharge.

Karen Witham reads to her children, giving her husband a chance to recharge.

A friend once told me conspiratorially that there is no such thing as work-life balance. “It’s more like a work-life see-saw,” she said. “If one thing is up, the other is down.”

I talked to many parents about their efforts to integrate their work and family lives for this story that ran on KQED’s The California Report. Despite the incredible variation, one theme emerged. Often, the details of peoples’ stories – working full-time, part-time, odd hours, being a single parent – made people feel like their situation was so specific they were reinventing it all. The isolation makes it worse.

Some families are trying to change this. The Witham-Price family I profiled in my story set a goal of actively seeking out community and took action by joining a cooperative preschool and a Unitarian Universalist church. Continue reading