Lessons Learned About "Balancing" Family, Church, and Profession
As part of the JRCLS Conference agenda, on Friday, February 17, 2017, Denise P. Lindberg, Jeremiah J. Morgan, and Brent J. Belnap participated in an engaging panel discussion entitled “Balancing Family, Church, and Profession.” The panelists collectively have worked in various challenging positions (serving as a judge, working for a large law firm, holding a position as in-house counsel, etc.) while raising families and fulfilling demanding church callings at the local, stake, and general organizational levels. When asked if they think that a person can truly attain work life “balance,” the panelists basically agreed that the answer is “no.” Even still, they provided meaningful perspectives on how to at least “moderate” stress and succeed amid life’s challenges.
Here are just a few tips from them:
Lean on your family for support. Remember that your career is about your family as much as it is about you. Regular family council discussions have provided tremendous strength to Sister Lindberg, even during her busiest (six-day workweek) seasons of life.
You cannot do everything. At times, you will miss children’s soccer games or dinner with your family. There may even be periods where you feel like you cannot do much beyond merely “functioning.” Do what you can do and trust in the Lord. According to Brother Belnap, we can find direction as we learn to differentiate between “good, better, and best” choices.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Some of the compromises we make in “balancing” work and life may affect how others perceive us, but we should not compare ourselves to others. One panelist had made a habit of arriving at work very early in the morning so he could leave the office early enough to eat dinner with his family. Even though he felt like other lawyers at the firm may have judged him for leaving “early,” he felt content with his habit, since he knew it was what his family needed at that time.
As our burdens increase, our capacity can increase. “God wants us to be leaders” in every capacity that we have. This means we have to work hard, but over time, we also build the capacity to handle greater demands. It is particularly important to build up our “spiritual capacity.” When we are confident before the Lord, we can do so much more.
It is okay to make mistakes. Some job changes will be very difficult and may even feel like (or be) a mistake. But Heavenly Father will open doors at the right time and make purpose out of the “mistake.”
Know yourself. Everyone is different. You are in the best position to know when you are feeling overwhelmed. “We all face those moments where we have to make decisions” about our careers. We need to recognize when those moments occur.
Be a mentor. We can find relief amid life’s burdens not just by being mentored, but also by mentoring others. Offering even a few minutes of time to share kindness and instill confidence in junior colleagues can fuel those people for years.
Posted: March 31, 2017