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Life, Work, Holidays, Oh No! FindLaw and Work/Life Balance

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on December 09, 2014 9:52 AM

My editor gently reminded me yesterday it was time for me to get writing this month's From the Managing Editor post. Um, what? It was just November three seconds ago. Can I get a show of hands for all who think Halloween was yesterday, and are afraid that New Year's is tomorrow?

Such is life during this part of the year, where things speed up until you can't catch your breath. Oh yes, and you still have work to do. A lot.

Work/Life Imbalance

I have spent some time this past year thinking about that elusive work/life balance and even started tweeting occasionally using #worklifeimbalance. Like many of our readers, I am a working parent with too much on my plate, and that helping gets a lot bigger as the holidays approach. But does this really have to with anything FindLaw and all things legal? Even considering the fact that it is my work, I would say yes.

Parents -- make that all people -- need resources and backup when navigating work/life balance. For many of us, that includes taking time off for maternity or paternity leave, or taking time for general family leave. But what if your employer balks, or has no clear policy? It helps you to know what the law guarantees in the way of time off and job protection. We have those resources available all over, from our blogs to our Learn About the Law pages, to our attorneys who can help if push really comes to shove.

Ho-Ho-Hold On: What About the Holidays?

But I really wanted to talk about the holidays, how they affect working families, and what we as a company dedicated to helping consumers and attorneys alike can do to help.

First, there are those DIY articles and blogs that consumers can turn to for education and research. What else do people want to know about this time of year? Well, divorce is a reality many of us face -- and with divorce comes custody agreements. What if your ex won't share the kids during Hanukkah, or what if you didn't specify in your agreement that you can travel out of state to see family over the holidays? We have lots of blog posts addressing just that issue.

What if you are struggling to actually get time off for Christmas? What does the law in your state guarantee? Did you know there is no guarantee of paid time off even on official holidays under federal law? But if you live in California or Ohio, the law might be changing. Maybe after learning about the issue, you want to get involved and help push lawmakers to take back a little time for families.

Wrap It Up

Don't even get me started on gift wrapping -- my presents always look like a 10-year-old boy wrapped them, instead of an allegedly competent grown woman. But I digress. What I really wanted to end with is my Top 5 tips for surviving work and play this time of year, courtesy of my FindLaw family:

  1. Plan it out: Know what time off you need and make sure you understand what is guaranteed to you (or not) under your company policy and state law.
  2. Take some time for yourself: You can't work well or be a good parent if you are the physical equivalent of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Eat, sleep, and exercise. And don't feel guilty about it.
  3. Let it go: And I don't mean watch "Frozen" for the 97th time. I mean let the angst with the ex go and share the kids. Make sure you have an agreement in writing if there is any doubt about the schedule.
  4. Remember: Take a moment to remember what this time of year is supposed to be, and it has nothing to do with a deal on an Xbox. It is a time for light, warmth, food, family and cheer.

The very merriest Christmas, happiest Hanukkah, most joyous Kwanza and a prosperous and healthy New Year. See you in 2015.

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