Hi friends! Man, have I missed you! There have been so many times that I have wanted to sit down and type to you, but I did not have the inspiration or the time to do so. Eventually, I will share my journey with all of you. It definitely has not been easy. My health drama that I have written about in the past turned out to be something completely different. The good news is that I am on the road to recovery and I am ready to get back into blogging. I still plan to focus mostly on managing life as a working mom, but I am also going to focus a little bit more on health and wellness. Today, however, I want to talk about work-life balance as a working mom. You see, I always thought that the secret to work-life balance was out there and I was striving to crack the code. What I have realized through this whole ordeal, is that there is no such thing as work-life balance. Yes, sorry to disappoint you! There is no magic formula to successfully manage #allthethings we working mommies have in the air at any given time. Sometimes you drop a ball or two and that is okay.
Over the last six months or so, I have been juggling (or at least trying) health issues, family life and a demanding career in sales. There are days when I felt like I was rocking it, but most days I felt, and still feel, like a total failure. If things were going well at home, work was suffering. When I was killing it at work, the home life was a mess. I desperately wanted everything in my life to align and tried to set up my day for success. I revamped my morning routine, made sure I took time for self-care and focused on being as productive as possible at work. It really did not matter what I did, something always felt out of balance. Since I was so determined to do well in my new role in sales, it was usually my health or family that suffered. I knew if I was going to continue to work, recover from my illness and be a good mother and wife, I needed to make some changes stat.
I have made a lot of adjustments to my life that I plan on sharing with you over the next couple of months, but the biggest one was reevaluating my expectations of myself. You see, over the years I have become more and more of a perfectionist. Growing up, I never felt that I was not good enough and this carried into adulthood. I wanted to be the best wife, mother, friend and employee that I could possiby be. While that is certainly not a bad thing, I lost sight of what was really important because I was so focused being what I thought others needed me to be. I needed to have a spotless house and homemade meals at home. At work, I still wanted to be at the top of my game regardless of what was going on with my health. As I am typing this, I realize how ridiculous this was. Once I reevaluated my expectations and realized that I could not be all things to everyone, my life started moving in a positive direction.
What does this have to do with balance?
Well, I have finally learned that it is okay to be out of balance at times. If you are constantly striving for balance, you are not able to focus on what is most important to you at the time. For a while, it was very important that I focused on my health. In this instance, both the home and work life were impacted. However, I needed to get healthy in order to continue being a wife, mom, employee and friend. Now that I am doing better, I need to lean into work more but I also make sure I take time to disconnect and spend time with the family. There are still days where I feel that I do not have my act together, but I am getting better.
I know I started this journey to empower working mommies to live their best life. I planned on writing about how to achieve work-life balance. However, here I am telling you that you cannot have balance in your life. While I am admitting to this, I am not saying you can’t be happy. Today, I am happier than I have ever been in my adult life. I feel that if you acknowledge that life is not always going to be in balance, you will also be happy. When your heart is telling you to lean into family, you lean into family. If it is crazy at work and you need to lean into your career, it will make the time with your family all the more meaningful to you when things settle down.
There are going to be days or even weeks in which you feel like you are juggling too much. In those times, you need to evaluate what is most important to you. Notice I said you and not others! You may need to drop a few balls in order to properly juggle the ones you need (and want) to keep in the air. That is okay!
These days, I am focused on mastering the art of work-life integration. I am still a work in progress as I continue to navigate through uncharted territories both at home and at work, but I am getting better every day.
How about you? Have you given up on the work-life balance hype?