Why I don't strive for the "Work/Life" Balance Ideal

In the last (almost) 3 months I’ve been struggling.  A type of struggle that I know is common, but one that I go up against every single day.

 

That is the “Work/ Life Balance” struggle.

 

You are probably silently nodding in agreement. You’ve been there, right? You had that great, burning desire to reach this maximum balance where you are a rockstar at work and still manage to keep the house clean, laundry done, kids happy, husband feels valued and dinner on the table.  Right? (or at least some variation of that…)

 

Me too.

 

I’m living it.  First let me catch you up.
  1. As of August 2014 business was great.  I work for myself, the stream of new clients and projects were steady.  I was approaching being married nearly a year and a half.  Things were good.
  2. August 13th…Surprise you’re el preggo!  Whoa!  The realization that I had 9 months to prepare to what I’m not quite sure hit me like a wrecking ball.
  3. Ready or not, April 18 (3 days late) this tiny human entered the world and I’ll forever be changed.  All my previous expectations where shattered in greatest ways.
  4. June I went back to work with the mindset I’d be full-time by July.

 

Fast forward to today and I’m sitting on the floor, in the nursery, nursing my son, writing this post on my tablet.

 

Everyday I make a to do list with an expectation I’m going to clock ‘x’ amount of hours worked.  Then, I have another “home” list that I plan to tackle, all the while caring for a 12 week old.  Everyday it ends the same way. I’m stressed out and disappointed.  This got me thinking. There has to be a better way. There has to be a way to achieve a work/life balance I can be confident in. I’m tired of feeling the guilt and frustration not to mention the anxiety it brings.  There has to be a way I can excel in my business while being present in my son’s life (especially in such a crucial time as his first months).

 

My work/life balance solution… it’s not possible.  It’s just not.

 

This ideal where we have our home responsibilities on one side of the scale with our work responsibilities on the other trying to achieve a place where they equal out is NOT REAL.

 

Before you start going all, “Jen, I strive for this daily too and you’re wrong…” and shake your head at me.

 

Hear me out….

 

Instead of this rigid mindset of where we (as entrepreneurs who work from home) have to be divided into a “balance”.  By definition “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”  That definition instills the work/life balance as a noun. An object to which we excel to have.  What if it was mean to be a verb, something of action! That doesn’t stop but ‘FLOWS’.  What if we strive for our work and life responsibilities to FLOW with one another.  Where it doesn’t start and stop with each task but where it flows from one another.  What if we picture the two being carried like the current, in some areas one might be a stronger pull and at other times vise versa.  NOT where they balance each other out.  In reality they DON’T!  In your life, (and with mine) there are times where our career is the main focus.  Then, when a handsome little baby like mine enters the world, life takes our full attention.  It doesn’t make the other less important, it just shifts… it FLOWS.

 

For me, right now, this gives me that grace I need to let myself off the hook.  That work will get done, the dishes will get washed, it will all work out.  The most important thing right now, is my new responsibility of being a mom.  It’s a beautiful thing about being honest with myself in this new mindset of work/life flowing with one another.  It’s also allowed me to be honest with my clients.  I have NO CLUE what I’m doing working from home with an infant.  That translates to I HAVE NO CLUE what a realistic project timeline is, right now.  In return clients have been SO understanding with deadlines.  They may not understand exactly what I’m doing or how I’m going to make it work (because some are men…) but they understand and appreciate me being transparent.  I’m not misleading them with crazy high expectations.  It just works out!

 

In return, does this make sense?  Are you working to achieve this crazy even balance of  your work and life?  Does this hit home for you that maybe, just maybe, it all can flow instead of a tug-a-war of your energy?   I’d love to hear your take!

 

Continually flowing…
Jen

 

 [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Jenpix_headshot.png[/author_image] [author_info]I am an almost 30 something entrepreneur, mid-westerner, now Western PA resident, marketing firm owner, blogger and Neighborhood Boutique’s Marketing Development Partner. Currently on a mission to help microbusinesses ‘get’ marketing their business online. If you didn’t know, I love all things web design, social media and coffee (especially coffee). [/author_info] [/author]

Jennifer Sakowski

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