Finding Your Balance
I was so honored when Beth Shugg, editor of Carolina Parent, asked if I would contribute to the new Carolina Parent Work-Life Balance blog. After all, isn't searching for the perfect balance what we are all striving/fighting for? I know I am. Some days I feel like the stars and moon have aligned, all is right with the world and I have found that illusive "work-life balance." Other days, it feels like I am in the fight of my life. My goal is to have much more of the former!
Back in February, I wrote about work-life balance in my Sippy Cups and Suits: Survival Tips for the Working Mom blog and it started off something like this: "Everyone is always throwing around the term "work life balance," but as a working mom, I see it more as a never-ending juggling act. With knives. That are on fire. One misstep and you're toast. But who doesn't like a little challenge?"
That is hands down one of my most favorite lines I've written (and boy have I written a lot!). Why? Because I feel like we have made this illusive work-life balance we're all searching for unattainable. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but if you are waiting for the clouds to part, birds to sing and a sense of complete serenity to wash over you, you're gonna be waitin' a while. But wait! There is still hope. The real hope is in defining what work-life balance means to you.
What does "work-life balance" really mean? Honestly, it is different for everyone. For me, it means always feeling like I am present in the moment. Present at home and not worrying that I left the office 30 minutes too early; present at work and not feeling guilty that the boys have to come with me to Target because I was too busy to run errands at lunch; present on date night and not feeling guilty that our fabulous sitter is reading the boys their bedtime stories. Do I achieve presence every day? Nope. But I will tell you that more often than not, it is a reality and that, to me, is the balance that I need.
I have a good friend who finds her work-life balance by working from home so that she can wash a load of laundry over lunch. Another girlfriend found a day care close to her office so that she could have lunch with her daughter during the week. My boss used to leave the office at 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday when his boys were young to coach their soccer team. What do you do? If you can't answer that question, we've got some work to do!
Here's your work-life balance homework from the Clueless Chick:
– Find one thing you can change to bring a little more balance into your life
You might try doing your grocery shopping online and spending an extra $5 to save yourself an hour-long trip to the store. Or maybe you can plan to have lunch with your spouse one day next week, just the two of you. Don't worry, there is no right or wrong answer for this homework assignment so just pick one little thing and give it a try. Life is all about taking that first step.
Until next time,
aka Chick #1