I had been working on this post about how to balance life for a very long time. I’ve had the idea scribbled in a notebook for months. I’ve had a draft started, but not finished for weeks. Yet here I am completely changing the whole premise of this topic.
Let’s get real for a second – when you have kids there is no balance. Sure you can feel like everything is rocking and rolling for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but it will come crashing down at some point. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it does.
For instance, I started this post off (then deleted it) talking about how to find balance you need to be a planner. You need to have a list of everything that needs to get done, be able to know when to delegate and when to say no, and you need help. But that was before our little boy spent the better part of 3 hours nonstop crying last night. No idea why. He just did.
I’m tired. I’m dragging and I sure know that today is going to be rough.
It’s 8 am and I’m already sipping on a Diet Mountain Dew (it’s my version of coffee). This post was supposed to be finished last night so it could go live this morning, but that didn’t happen. Because no matter how hard I try to plan, prepare and schedule my day – it doesn’t always play out like I hope. So instead of finishing this post last night, I sat in complete darkness holding my crying boy in my arms until he fell asleep.
And there is no place I would have rather been.
So maybe work life balance isn’t a fine balance act. Maybe it’s having the ability to say no to some things so you can say yes to more important ones.
My son, my family and my well-being comes before anything else. So on days like yesterday, I have to reschedule everything I had planned for the last 3 hours of my day, I have to go to bed later than I normally do and I have to wake up earlier than I thought was possible.
But to me balance isn’t doing it all and being perfect, it’s choosing what’s perfect for me.
I may not get it all done in the time frame I dreamed of and that’s okay.
You may not either and you have to be willing to accept it. There are a few things you can do to help you not feel pressure to do things you HAVE to do when things you WANT to do come up.
- Plan your day. I use Google calendar to plan out my family’s life. Everything task, appointment, and reminder are scheduled in my calendar.
- Keep a running to-do list. I am someone who will obsess over something until it’s done. I have found that when I write a task or an idea down, then I can turn my brain off and focus on what I was supposed to be doing.
- Be okay with change. Days don’t always go as planned and you have to be willing to accept it. Let’s face it as Moms no two days are the same. And if you think they can be, then just spend time with a toddler because they will correct your thought process in less than an hour.
- Build in buffers. For me that means going to be later or getting up earlier (preferably not within a 12 hour period, but that’s mom life). I also try to keep my lunch hour free to do other work. I work full time so when my lunch break comes I usually run home to write posts, record videos or edit them. This gives me some flexibility when my evenings or mornings don’t go as I hope.
- Know your priorities. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the hustle of life. We get frustrated when we have to stop mid-thought to dig a toy out from under the couch just for your little one to do it all over again. At those moments, just stop and remind yourself every day they are learning something new and one day they will be able to reach for a toy under the couch themselves and that day will be hard. You may not realize it at the time, but it will be. When our little one could finally hold his own bottle, I was happy until the day came that I wanted to rock him to sleep for nap time and he didn’t need me to any longer. He could hold his own bottle and lay down on his own.
I may not be perfect with work life balance, but I don’t think anyone can be perfect when they’re a mom. No matter if you’re a mom who works away from home, works from home or in between. Any woman who mothers a child, runs a household and is making a difference will never have a perfect balance act. And at the end of the day when you watch your little one sleep you realize that it’s okay because they are more perfect than you could ever imagine.