I worked hard before I could find my work-life balance. As mothers, we have this great responsibility of making sure our kids grow up as they should. Sometimes, they are extremely demanding. Picture a situation where you have a breastfeeding baby and another sick toddler. For a working mom like me, work/life balance was elusive at the beginning even sounding like a myth.
But when I began making deliberate choices about which opportunities to pursue and which to decline, I began to be more meaningfully engaged. When I reflect on my progress, I realize that there are defining themes that keep coming up.
Travelling & relocating selectively
Whenever I was travelling, it was always stressful. Lingering questions like whether the kids were asleep, eaten, or even if sick keep flooding my mind. I ended up making so many phone calls that I concentrated less on my job than I should have.
I did the math eventually, and decided to cut back on my trips. I realized that some were not worth it at all. When my children eventually become adolescents, I do not plan to travel a single bit.
Collaborating with your spouse
If you have no emotional support from your partner, they may be contributing very little to your balancing efforts. We women love complimentary relationships, especially if you’re a working mother with kids to raise. I realized that my spouse’s work and behavioral skills balanced out my own tendencies. If there is stress, it’s shared out between us. Yes, I do count myself lucky!
Manage your communications
Undivided attention both at home and workplace is essential. You can imagine your boss calling and it’s your 4 year old who picks up…it’s happened. Worst of all kids can delete your text messages or even important emails. Deciding when and where to be accessible is still a challenge but I am getting better at saying no.
These days I am honest about how much I can multitask and how often I’m available to my team. I keep my inboxes under control too. When I put my phone down, I don’t look at it again until morning, if it isn’t on fire it can wait. Here is some help I has achieving that, it wasn’t easy the temptation to look at your phone is great.
Create support networks
That aunt you rarely call could be your savior when you go out of town. Occasionally, you will need to vent out your frustrations. What better people to talk to than family. I once had a cousin come over to help babysit whenever she was on holiday.
My colleagues have also been valuable sounding boards. Were it not for their compassion, my career would be derailed. Nevertheless, obtaining this balance has been a sobering reality with no clear cut formula. I still have my family and my work calling for attention and that isn’t going to change.