The balancing act

Tannur Ali plays with her children at Turtle Park in Albany, Ga. / Jessica Fairley

As the structure of the American family changes people are finding it hard to balance work and family.

Years ago the dinner table was the place for a parent to get their family's daily news; who did what in school and what happened on the way home. Now for many households those days are gone.

"My wife and I both have busy schedules but we have to carve out time," says Jason Spears, Pastor of Providence Church.

Spears says like so many families, he and his wife also have to find the time for family time.

"One of the biggest things that I see that plagues the American family structure is the over scheduling of our kids," says Jason Spears.

Parents take on dance classes and football games in addition to their own busy schedules.

"Speaking as a mama and being a working professional, I understand that it is really difficult and there are a lot of times that I feel like I don't measure up and I feel like I'm failing," says Lisa Spears, a mother, wife and career woman.

She says these are times when she prays and reaches out for support. By keeping herself strong mentally, she's able to keep the balance.

Tannur Ali says she also uses a support group.

"It's like walking a tightrope. The balance is the part I'm always struggling with but my mom is here and she is really supportive," says Tannur Ali, a business owner and mother.

Unlike the Spears, Ali doesn't have the same family structure. She says she changed her life to save her kids.

"I ended up being a single mother because I left a domestic violence situation," says Tannur Ali.

After that situation, she found the importance of connecting with her kids, finding time for them in between her time, though she admits it's tough.

"A lot of times we don't actually sit down for dinner. I'll sit the down to dinner and my phone will ring or I'll get an email that I really need to get back to immediately," says Ali.

The businesswoman says it's the small things that count, like playing together and participating in each other's events. The Spears say the art of play is also a factor in their home.

"Just doing the small things getting out in the yard and playing baseball," says Lisa Spears.

Her husband agrees that even the small things count.

"I love to cook and so I'll have my kids cooking and showing them how to do things and stuff," says Pastor Jason Spears.

Both families say there isn't one formula for finding the balance but working together and doing the small things is one way to keep the family unit strong.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off