Thursday, March 8, 2012

Working Mom Issue #189: Balance

I work full time.

And I have a small business.

And my husband has a small business.

And our schedules are a little crazy.

But it’s just our life and usually, it is perfectly, crazily balanced. Huge props to Google Calendar for helping us stay on track.

Except when it’s not.

Because it isn’t always as balanced as I would like it to be – a lot of the time work gets about 85% of my time, Gianna gets 13% and Mike gets 1%. Leaving 0% for taking care of the house, laundry, errands, friends, etc.  sort of the opposite of what it should be, huh?

this is one of those weeks and it just hit me on the way home from another really long day – I have not had a day off in 12 days or something like that and I have worked two jobs for like 8 of those 12 days. And all I wanted to do was snuggle my family, laugh with my family and just BE with them.  And that is exactly what I did this evening.

But I get in to this “work mode” where I just DO things – I don’t think about them, I just do them, because I need to. And I hate saying no to people, or missing work events. And it’s kind of like a black hole – the black hole of work and several cups of coffee.

This is not me complaining because all this work helps me to provide for my family and to eliminate our debt. But it is at it’s own cost.

This is me struggling to stay balanced.

My ideal schedule would be to only spend one week night away from home for work purposes and one weekend afternoon.  But that is, in all honesty, rare.  If I am actually HOME one week night, that is a good week.

And that just sucks when you have an awesome family that you miss every day.  and a little girl who says, at least once a day “I miss my mommy” because her mommy is working a lot. 

I know that life can get out of balance no matter what your schedule is like, or what kind of work you do – but what helps to keep it all balanced?  How do you help to keep your life in balance and juggle everything that is important to you?  Most of the time I think I have this figured out and then I have a few weeks in a row where I realize that I have a long way to go.


working mom issue #1


alison said...

It's hard. I try to do most of my design stuff after the boys go to bed. I only have a few sweet hours with them during the week and it goes too quickly, so I push it off until 8pm. But by then I'm drained myself and all I really want to do is watch stupid TV. We just do it and wing it as we go. I really have no idea.

Jules said...

:p Ditto to the above. I try to push off chores/work stuff until the girls go to bed, but the minute I sit down, it's like "i'm tired, just a few minutes of tv or......." and then get nothing accomplished. Esp. with them being sick, the last few weeks both of us are just running on fumes.

Jessica said...

The biggest thing is to let go of your expectations. I find when I am thinking about the house being perfectly clean, the laundry being done, the grocery shopping and meal planning and church and work...I am irritated with the boys and ready to push bedtimes. They NOTICE when I'm distracted and irritable. So I try to literally carve those evening hours with them into nothing more than them. They deserve it - work gets so much more of me. Also, I have purposefully NOT enrolled them in classes or activities simply because I love having unstructured, unplanned weekends. it's not for everyone, but that's what we do.
In addition to letting go of all the expectations to have perfection in every aspect of life, husband and I work hard to let each other have friend nights/days or alone time. I'd love to say we fight hard for date nights but right now we both recognize this busyness, stress is a PHASE of our life. We make time for each other at lunch, or with phone calls and text messages and if he comes up with an original idea for dinner and doesn't start the "what's for dinner" fight, he KNOWS he'll get lucky that night!
Good luck...just remember, it WILL get better!

Mazzy said...

Honestly, I don't think anybody has this one figured out.... well, maybe those people with housecleaners and personal chefs and shoppers and such... maybe they do. But I know I sure don't.

I like the above about letting go of expectations. I think that is a great answer. I used to try and set certain days aside for laundry or bathrooms or dusting, etc, and then when something went awry in my plan and it didn't happen, I would get SO FRUSTRATED and feel like such a failure. So seeing as how unpredictable life with small children is, I really just try to take it one day at a time right now. Wake up and make a general plan but nothing too firm because I don't want to beat myself up when it doesn't work out, right? And I try to incorporate my girls in everything I do. L helps me clean and do laundry and cook and I always have S in a chair nearby so that I'm not missing time with them. And there are days when I just tell my boss to call me if it is urgent bc I am turning OFF the laptop and ignoring my email to go ride the carousel at the mall and shop with my girls at BabyGap (seriously, that was today).

You are doing AWESOME. Just remember that the bottom line should always be: 1)God 2)Husband 3)Kids 4)Work. I try to remember that every day and the more I structure my life around this plan, the happier and more fulfilled I am.


Danifred said...

I think it's so hard to juggle everything. We live by a shared Google calendar- otherwise, we'd be a mess.