Regardless of the fact that I have been working from home for over 5 years, with kids for 4 years, I still have no idea how to successfully balance work and the rest of my life. In fact, I, myself, hope to learn something from this post.
I'm what I like to call a self-saboteur. Sounds fancy doesn't it? Well, unfortunately it's just another way of saying I'm a procrastinator, a dreamer, a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal with a hint of structure and organization. This combination means I always meet work deadlines (at the very last second, having worked all night), feed my kids and pets, do laundry (when everyone is out of underwear), pay bills, have lots of half-finished projects in the house, drop everything for a fun adventure with the kids and DH and day dream a lot.
My laptop is almost always set up at the end of my dining room table, thereby allowing me access to work, email, etc. through most of each day. As a work-from-home-mom/stay-at-home-mom with a very part-time nanny, I work whenever I have the chance, which ends up being late at night, weekends and any time I can squeeze in a bit of work.
The line between work and everything else is certainly blurred. I'm worried that my Darling Boys will look back on their childhoods and think: my mom was always working on her computer and always smelled like coffee. I am perpetually running late, scrambling to finish a deadline and trying to fit in another project, whether it's paid work, volunteering on a parent committee at the Darling Boys' school, re-organizing all the drawers in the house or starting this blog, for instance: total schedule sabotage. Is there anything that can be done about this?
There are many lists of tips of how to achieve the balance desired by every parent. These seem to be the top tips, in no particular order:
Set priorities and boundaries, and learn when to say no, even with work.
Protect your family/couple/alone time (I will admit that how one actually has enough time to have family, couple and alone time, much less protect it, is beyond me. Perhaps one of the lists linked below can help to answer that question.)
Don't feel guilty about working or about spending time with family
Be "present in the moment" when it's work time and when it's family time. (This one can be difficult for me.)
Figure out a schedule that works for you. And stick to it. (OK, I have trouble with this one too.)
After doing the research and reading all the lists of tips, I'm beginning to think I might be a lost cause when it comes to balancing work and life responsibilities.
Here are some websites with some of the best tips for achieving a true balance between work and everything else in life:
- Strategies for Work Life Balance by Naomi Rockler-Gladen: http://balancing-career-mothering.suite101.com/article.cfm/strategies_for_work_life_balance
- A Parent's Choice: 5 Tips to Achieve Work/Life Balance by Kelly Watson: http://www.quintcareers.com/parent_work-life_balance.html
- 10 Tips for Getting Your Work/Life in Balance by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.: http://www.quintcareers.com/work-life_balance_tips.html
Do you feel that you have been able to find a balance with work/life? What is your best tip for achieving this equilibrium? I think it's something I will forever be in search of until I no longer have to work or have kids at home. I will post a bit of Motherly Advice on Friday. Over and out…
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