Learn to Say No. This is my Number 1 Sanity Saver in keeping at least a little balance in my life. It is 100%, absolutely okay to say no to requests, demands, projects and "opportunities--both at home and at work. It is okay to limit extracurricular activities to keep schedules under control. It is okay to turn down the occasional invitation or social commitment. It is even okay to weigh the cost/benefit ratio to those "extra projects" at work or on the volunteer front. Saying no (especially to the kids) is tough...at first...but, the value of that little two letter word is really vital to balancing work and home demands successfully.
Find a Really Good Nanny or Helper. Whether you are seeking nannies Sydney area in Australia or nannies in Columbus Ohio--there are endless childcare resources available with qualified caregivers ready to meet your schedule and your needs. You don't even need to sign up for a full time, live in nanny--you may find that having a local high school or college student offer a couple of hours of homework help or playtime helps immensely in the evenings as you switch gears from work to home.
Stick to a Schedule. Really. When you are at work--be 100% at work. Take only emergency calls from the kids. Don't work on school volunteer projects. Be at work. When you are at home--be 100% at home. I know that some jobs demand phone calls or availability outside of the office. But--try to keep work at bay as much as possible by silencing those email notifications and distractions and by taking only the necessary phone calls when you are home with the family.
Keep it All (Mostly) Organized. Daily. When the house or the desk fall into disorganized chaos--your mind follows suit. While it's not easy to keep clutter down, and home/work spaces organized; you really need to put significant areas into daily organization and maintenance. Get the family on board at home, assign places for everything and keep everything in their places. Take those few extra minutes at the end of the day to tidy up your work areas for the next day. You will be so much more efficient in both areas with just a little daily maintenance!
Adjust your Perspective. Accept that, while everything may not be perfect, everything is still pretty okay. Most days. Accept the beauty (and balance) of "pretty okay". There will be times when your laundry is overflowing or your house looks like it was ransacked and robbed--or your to-do list at work goes out of control. Step back. Every day. Refocus. Re-prioritize. Adjust your perspective to accept that you simply will not accomplish 100% of everything on your list in every area of your life everyday. Seek balance. Not perfection.
You can balance your life--and enjoy both your career and your home! Really. You can do it!