As we move through life and the many transitions that occur, balancing everything that we do or want to do can be difficult. The tools and resources listed below can help you to reflect on what aspects of your life are most important to you and to learn strategies for keeping things in balance.
Continuing the Conversation
Continue thinking about topics raised in your local WoVeN group, or join a discussion with other women Veterans through WoVeN’s community Facebook page.
Questions for Reflection
- How do you know if you’ve achieved balance in your life? Is this even possible?
- Was it easier or harder to find balance in life when you were in the military?
- Were there times when you felt more balanced? What was going on in your life during those times? What’s different now? Are you balancing different needs?
- What are the signs that things are getting (or have become) out of balance?
Dive deeper into this theme with these self help tools.
The Best Parts of Life
This worksheet can help you reflect on the pieces of your life that are most important to you or that areas of your life to which you would like to devote more energy.
This worksheet can help you think through how you spend your time and decide if there are changes you’d like to make.
Building in Fun
Feeling bored? Can’t think of something fun to do? Get ideas here!
Cool Stuff We Found
Check out these recent articles, podcasts, and book recommendations handpicked by the WoVeN team.
WoVeN Book Recommendation
First published in 2015, “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time” offers advice for keeping life in balance using examples of how real working women with families make the most of their time.
“To Retain More Parents, the Military Offers a Better Work-Life Balance”
NPR podcast discussing recent changes to promote work-life balance in the military.
“Women Vets: A Battle All Their Own”
Parade Magazine profiles two Veterans, Stacy Keyte and Eryn Sepp, following return from deployment. Offers first-hand accounts of the struggles some women face trying to balance life after the military.
What the Science Says
Learn about important research that relates to the lives of women Veterans.
How Are Women Veterans Doing in Their Work and Family Lives?
Dr. Dawne Vogt and her team examined work and family functioning in 524 post-9/11 Veterans from across the United States.
- The majority of Veterans reported good quality of life related to work and family.
- However, when compared to men, women were more likely to be unemployed and, for those who were currently employed, women reported lower salaries.
- Interestingly, women described fewer difficulties than men in their roles as parents.
- For both men and women, the study found that having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was related to more difficulties both at work and in relationships.
The good news is that most women do well during the transition from the military. However, it is not uncommon for women, particularly women with PTSD, to struggle with certain aspects of their work or family lives.
Vogt, D., Smith, B. N., Fox, A. B., Amoroso, T., Taverna, E., & Schnurr, P. P. (2017). Consequences of PTSD for the work and family quality of life of female and male U.S. Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52, 341-352.
How Much Are Parents Working?
In an important study by Lyn Craig and Killian Mullan, 5,000 men and women living in the United States, Australia, Italy, France, and Denmark described the number of hours spent working (including paid work, domestic work, and child care) on a typical day.
- In the United States, adults with children had much larger workloads than adults without children.
- As compared to other countries, women with children living in the United States were more likely to stop paid work and devote time to child care.
- These patterns may be influenced by American cultural beliefs, such as “it is each family’s responsibility to raise their own children” or due to the fact that there are fewer resources to support mothers in the workforce than in other countries.
In the United States, women with children seem to have particularly large workloads and may feel pressure to leave the workforce to devote time to childcare. Efforts to keep women in the workforce by helping them balance their work and family lives are definitely needed!
Craig, L., & Mullan, K. (2010). Parenthood, gender, and work-family time in the United States, Australia, Italy, France, and Denmark. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 1344 – 1361.
Find More Info
Follow these links to find additional information about related topic areas.
Military OneSource provides a range of wellness resources for the military and veteran community. Below are some sections we found particularly useful. Each selection offers a webinars, helpful tips, and more!