Work Life Balance?
Meet our first GUEST BLOGGER:
Wife and mother of 1 adorable little girl
Graduated from Ball State University
Has worked for Aegis Worldwide since 2008
Loves her Porkie (Pug/Yorkie mix)
I am the new Mom to a beautiful 12 month old baby and I have a confession to make… I love my job. Now, to some this doesn’t seem like much of a confession, but I challenge you to go to your local “mommy and me” class and see the judgmental stares of some of the moms when you show up on your lunch break wearing a skirt and heels. You will definitely get the vibe that you are somehow depriving your child by working, or better yet, you get the sad eyes that say “oh, poor thing, she has to work.” Not the case. I work because I want to, as much as I love my baby, (and I am completely obsessed with her!) I know that I need to have an outlet. I need to go to work, hang out with adults and achieve the professional goals that didn’t change or go away when I had a baby. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful that some people stay at home with their kids, I truly believe that parenting is the most important job in the world and trust me, there are days when I wish nothing more than the opportunity to hang out with my little mini-me all day long! However, I’m not wired that way and I think each person should do what is right for them.
Now, the challenge to those that do work outside of the home is to find some sort of normalcy and balance. As a recruiter, I definitely hear this from my candidates every day. It seems that their main reason for looking for something new is a lack of work life balance in their current role, or no quality of life. It’s true, I hear this way more than looking for more money or even advancement opportunities. As a new mom, I definitely empathize with this and can feel their pain. I feel the daily struggle with worrying if I’m spending enough time with my daughter and worrying if I am doing enough at work. I feel the guilt when I leave my house in the morning and the guilt when I leave unfinished work at night. I have often questioned whether it is possible to do both jobs without going totally and completely insane.
I am certainly not an expert and am still trying to figure this out, but here is my two cents on how to make it work.
- Throw out the term “Work Life Balance”. Let’s get real, there is never going to be a balance. Sometimes I think this term causes me more stress, because I am constantly trying to equally split my time. I think a more appropriate term is “Work Life Juggle”. There will be some days that you have to put more into work and stay late to hit a deadline and then there are those dreaded sick days or the special birthdays where the work gets put on hold and you want to dedicate more of your time to your family. It’s a juggle and sometimes you are going to drop one of your balls- pick it up and get going again!
- Give yourself a break! Quit trying to compare yourself to everyone and meet someone else’s standards. Choose what is important to you and let that be your guide. Especially when you are considering a new career, choose what your “must haves” are and what your “nice to haves” are in a position, whether it is your daily commute or the typical work hours. I read some articles that paint a picture that everyone should be able to work for a company that allows you to work from home or have flex hours- but this isn’t the case for most people. So, it’s a give and take, for example, I realize that it is unrealistic to think that I will be able to meet my daughter at the bus every afternoon, but that when the time comes for ballet recitals, I won’t let myself miss those.
- Make the most of the little time you have! When I get home from work, I have about 2 hours or less before my little kiddo’s bedtime. During this time, I completely unplug and focus 100% of my time on her. I read a post that said, “Hold your children more than you hold your phone” and it completely spoke to me. So, while it is tempting to check my twitter feed and update my FB status, everything is off limits during that time. I do try to take advantage of my drive time home to catch up on my personal phone calls, but all of my friends and family know the second I pull in my driveway its baby time and I’m wrapping up that call!
Obviously, learning to juggle everything is difficult. I’m sure that I will never feel like I am doing everything correct all of the time and I will always work to better balance my time. For now, though, I will take each day one at a time and try not to hold myself to completely unrealistic standards and I encourage you to do the same! As long as my sweet, little baby continues to light up when I get home from work every evening, I figure I must be doing something right!