One of the things that being a working mum has taught me is that finding a work/life balance is essential. I realized very early on that I am the type of person that throws myself into whatever I am doing 100%, which can cause problems if I don’t figure out how to balance ALL my responsibilities.
I chose to work, and I did it because not only did I want to prove my worth (sales will definitely make sure you have to do that), but also because I wanted to show my kids how important a good work ethic was. Not to say that anyone that doesn’t work can’t teach that, because I absolutely believe that staying home with your kids is one of the hardest and most fulfilling jobs anyone could ever have. I, however, chose the working path and I don’t regret one minute of it because of all that I have learned over the years.
My kids are older now (with my youngest being 11 and my oldest 24), but I still have to make sure that I am creating a great home for them, I have to make sure that I am available when they need me, and I also have to make sure that my work doesn’t cause me to neglect any of them…all while making sure that I am not losing myself in any of it either.
Whether you have kids to go home to or not, it doesn’t matter. A work/home balance is still essential for your own sanity!
Working, especially when you are a high achiever is something that can take over your whole life if you let it, which is why finding that balance is essential. I have learned a few tricks over the years that work for me, so I thought I would share them with you today…
- Use a calendar – I know this sounds simple but I can’t tell you the number of times where I have forgotten to put a work or kids appointment on my phone and then scheduled something over it. The easiest way to avoid that is to make sure you use the SAME calendar for both business and personal so everything is in one place.
- Don’t miss dinner – I was always guilty of working later and not getting home in time to make a good dinner, so I had to make sure that no matter what, even if something wasn’t completely finished, I went home to take care of my family. There were some times I had to work on my laptop after the kids were in bed, but it was worth it because I got to spend my evenings with my family.
- Delegate – there are going to be times when you can’t do everything, that’s when it’s time to delegate. I used to have a hard time doing this, you know the whole “if I want it done right I need to do it” thing…but I learned over the years that I had to let that go to make sure I wasn’t missing out on things that were important to me. It could be that you delegate work or home stuff, by just prioritizing the things that you absolutely don’t want to or can’t miss!
- Hire a nanny – when my kids were really young I used to burn myself out and end up fighting all the time with the kids working on their homework with them – getting them to do it and coaching them through it. I realized that I didn’t want to be the bad guy anymore so we hired a nanny that would pick them up from school, do homework and chores with them before Brandon and I got back from work. That way, when we walked in all I had to do was make dinner and spend time with them. They didn’t fight the nanny like they fought me, and I didn’t feel deflated or frustrated with their lack of excitement about homework and chores 😉
- Let it go – whether you work outside the home or not, there are going to be frustrations from your day, and the only way your home is going to be welcoming for you and your kids is if you let the negativity and frustration go. Early in our marriage before Brandon started his coaching business he worked for a large corporation that brought with it a lot of frustration, so I used to tell him that he needed to touch a tree in our front yard and leave all that frustration out there. That way, we didn’t have to deal with it and the anger and frustration was mis-directed to the kids or me.
- Self care – this is the most important of all. If you don’t take care of you, and taking care of you doesn’t mean just working all the time because you love it, it means finding that thing that can reset your energy meter. Find the things that make you feel relaxed, renewed and ready to start the fight all over again. It could be something as simple as taking a coffee break, going for a walk in nature, working out, getting a massage or pedicure or even a date night.
Mastering balance in our lives is the thing that will make us even greater spouses, parents, friends, employees or bosses. It is the thing that differentiates the good from the great. You can’t give up one thing for another, because even if you are the most successful financially you won’t be fulfilled in other areas, or vice versa.
Why not start off this Monday by just implementing one of these ideas…or just making sure that you follow through with the self-care!
Even though this is the most important of all the steps, this is the one that is the most neglected…