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My job or my daughter's soccer game? How do I choose?

Q. I often have to work late to catch up and lately that means I’ve missed a lot of my daughter’s soccer games. I’m afraid if I don’t stay late, I’ll lose my job. But I’m also afraid I’m missing the most important parts of my child’s life. What do I do?

Ah, as Catholics we joke so much about “guilt.” But that is what you may have. The “Sports-Parent, Super-Parent” syndrome leaves women and men dog-tired at the end of each day –  and wondering if all the hustle and bustle is worth it. If you’ve done your due diligence with God and prayed through your decisions to know you’re on the right path, then perhaps what you need to do is some time-management. Here are some suggestions:

• Task overload: It’s time to take charge of your workflow, calendar and to-do lists. If you don’t already have a system in place that helps you manage your professional and personal whereabouts, then that explains why you feel over extended. For some quick tips on efficiency, check out productivity guru David Allen and his Web site, davidco.com.

• Get a coach: If you don’t think you can tackle getting your work life in order on your own, get in touch with a coach. Make sure the professional you hire is certified – many people are claiming to be coaches without credentials. Here is a Web site that may help locate the needed resource: www.coachfederation.org/ICF.

• Sit down with your supervisor: Candor is important in all relationships. He may not even realize that you are staying late. If you continue to feel tension, it may be causing you to build resentment toward your supervisor, coworkers and employer that may be misplaced. A discussion to clear the air may make your problems dissolve.

• Reality check: Sit down with the person who really matters: your daughter. Let her know that you love her and value her more than your job. Be sure to let her know that  you need to work to ensure that the family has an income, and that your job is calling for long hours that are pulling you away from time spent with her and the family. Perhaps you could mention that you would like to plan a special time during the weekend that the two of you could share one-on-one time doing an activity.

Prayer, planning and purposeful communication should help see you though this hectic time.

May your job bring you joy.