Ever since I was a little girl my dream was to get married and raise a family.
I never wanted to be a career woman. All I wanted to do was be a stay at home mom. Some people might think that was taking the easy way out because after all, staying home is not a job; it’s not really work. Of course, those same people never stayed home to take care and raise children 24×7! Not only is it a job, it’s also a very challenging job but the most rewarding job in the world!! I am happy to say that my dream came true and I was blessed that my husband was able to support our family, allowing me to stay home with our three children.
What I hadn’t considered though, was the day my children would reach the age when they wouldn’t need me to be home waiting for them. That day approached in what seemed to be a blink of an eye and suddenly I was left with “what now?” It became evident that the time arrived for me to work outside the home, and along with that realization came the issue of work/life balance. I was so used getting things done while the children were in school, but how on earth was I going to manage and balance my life?
How was I going to find balance as a working parent?
The idea of entering the workforce after ten years excited me and scared me at the same time. This was an emotional as well as physical transition and I was filled with questions and doubt. Wouldn’t my children miss me? Wouldn’t I miss being home when they arrived from school? How was I going to keep my house in order? How was I going to have enough time to cook and do laundry? What about cleaning the house?
What about ME time?
What seemed to have come naturally though, was the way I planned my time around my new work schedule. The fact that I was not able to be as flexible with my time as I used to be is what actually helped keep me focused. Surprisingly enough, I found myself even more organized than before. I started paying closer attention to the minutes in the hours and the hours in the days. I noticed how long it would take me to do things around the house. I took advantage of any available window of time that presented itself and used my time very wisely. I planned in advance and prepared ahead of time. I became an expert in multitasking and prioritizing.
BUT the most important thing I did was be very kind to myself.
I understood that there would be times where my house would look like chaos and I was okay with that. After all, a home is to be lived in, not treated as a museum. At those more challenging times, I asked for help and delegated out when necessary.
Balance is all about making choices that align with our values, our needs, our goals. Balance is knowing when to say yes and when to say no. Balance is understanding that sometimes in order to gain one thing we have to give up something else.
Life happens and at times, things may not go as planned.
We might not be able to have that perfect balance, daily. But, it’s those days when we do have a balance that makes up for the times that we don’t. When we let go of perfection we make room for calm and acceptance, creating an inner peace which precedes any form of balance.
In order to help you understand your life situation more clearly, take a look at the life wheel below and rate the areas you prioritize versus the areas you tend to neglect:
How wobbly would your life wheel be? What’s the first step you can take to create more balance in your life as a working parent?
Please share in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!