I hear this is an attainable goal. I don’t have any answers or secrets, but finding this balance has become my new life goal. Since motherhood has gotten me on track with my whole eat better/get fit/drink less goals, it’s time to get some new goals. Balance.
Apparently (I know this because I just googled it) work-life balance is a concept that is research based and the focus on many studies. Huh, who knew? In my pre-motherhood days, I certainly never thought about this idea of balance. I was shocked to have someone tell me not so long ago that one shouldn’t be too invested in their job, that it’s important to have other outlets. For me, life was work and work related events (my paid work being almost identical to my unpaid work) and then whatever time wasn’t devoted to work was spent either lying on the couch or going out to dinner or the bar. Not much balance required.
So now here I am trying to find some kind of balance between raising a child, being pregnant, running a business and maintaining healthy loving relationships with my husband, friends and family. AND I can’t rely on going to the bar and drinking til 2am to make me not worry about not having this balance. I am faced with my lack of balance every single day. Oops, spent too much time online and now dinner hasn’t been started. Oops, dinner is started but the kid is desperate to go out and I need 30 minutes of oven time. Oops, that 20 minutes extra I got in bed this morning means I don’t really have time for that shower. Oops, goodness I am so tired, do I really have to shower much less pick up all these $%*$# toys again?
So yes, balance. I have learned in my 7 minute search online that the secret to work-life, much less motherhood balance is not going to be googleable.
However, I have learned a few things in the past few months that have helped me in my quest:
Schedule “Me” time. And by schedule, I mean figure out the time every day when I am going to do something just for me and put it in the schedule. Even if it’s 10 minutes. And sitting in front of my computer does not count as me time. I am on the fence about sitting in front of the tv. (NB – I am working on this, I understand it conceptually, but still haven’t mastered it.)
Ask for help. Whether this is from the hubs or a parent or a friend. It is impossible to find this work-life-motherhood balance alone. I used to hate to ask for help, I still don’t love it, but as my friends and family can attest, I have become kind of good at it.
Spend time with friends – sure, seeing them in person is so much better, but even a chatty phone call can make a world of difference.
Exercise – Find that time to get outside and run around the block, or pop in a DVD during naptime or yes, Stroller Strides. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in this country. We could all use some heart healthy, calorie burning, deep breathing time in our life.
And in conjunction with exercise – relax. Let it go. We can’t do everything. I keep endless lists in a little book. And when I feel completely helpless and useless I make a new list and sometimes the stuff from the old list will make it over and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes it’s fun to go back and look at these lists and see what did and didn’t get done and how the stuff that didn’t get done, over time, doesn’t really matter. Because if it’s that important, it will get done. The kids will get fed, the dust will not accumulate to 3 inches deep, the appointments will get made (eventually) and so on. I always feel like there’s not enough time in the day, but what would I do with an extra hour? Pick up more toys? Lie on the couch? Write another email? Does it matter? We have as much time as we are given and let’s remember to enjoy this time with our family and friends and to give and receive as much love as we can and pass it on.
Finally – remember to eat lunch. Again, I am not so great at this one, but I know it’s important. Maybe I can combine it with my scheduled “me” time. Which reminds me, I should go eat some lunch.