Work/Life Balance – I hate this phrase so much. Everyone likes to go on and on about how they juggle life in the office with life at home and here’s a list of tips and tricks and the best way to do it is this and so on and so on. And I am here to say – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK/LIFE BALANCE. A little louder for the ones in the back! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK/LIFE BALANCE!
So now that we’ve got that out-of-the-way, let’s talk about it for a minute. I don’t say there is no such thing as work/life balance to make you feel defeated or to make you lose all hope. I don’t want you to feel like a terrible parent or a lousy employee. That is not my intention here. My intention is to break you of this perception that you can and need to do it all. Because you can’t. It’s just not possible. Nobody can do it all, all of the time. They will break eventually. The momma’s that try to do everything are the ones that end up crying on the kitchen floor surrounded by smoke and burnt lasagna because they got caught up in the office doing work. Totally hypothetical scenario of course. It is okay to realize that you are not superwoman. It is okay to not be perfect. It is okay to let some things slide.
I will tell you this – I do not have a work/life balance. I am constantly feeling like I am letting somebody down on all fronts. I feel like I have one foot in each place and I am the rope in a never-ending game of tug of war. Because that is what balance is really – a never-ending game of tug of war. Being pulled left and right, backwards and forwards. Everyone needing you everywhere. It never ends.
You can’t always be giving it 100% at home. If you do, you will miss out on crucial career opportunities and will prove yourself to be more of a liability than an asset at your job. You can’t always be giving it 100% at work. If you do, you will miss out on pivotal milestones in your children’s life and will prove to be a lackluster partner to your spouse. We simply cannot be 100% everywhere, all the time. And that is okay.
So what does that mean for you new momma? The one that’s heading back to work and doesn’t know how to handle it all? It means you need to cut yourself some slack. It means you need to know that some nights will be spent missing your baby’s bedtime because your stuck late at the office meeting that deadline. It means that some days will be spent at home nurturing and caring for your sick baby instead of attending that big meeting. These things happen. And while it can feel scary and intimidating in the moment, it will all be okay. So take it easy on yourself. Give yourself a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And more than anything, remember that in this never-ending game of tug of war – nobody wins. You just got to keep playing the game.