Balancing Life 101 Part 1
By Camille of www.makeitworkmom.com
Of all the occupations in the world today, I believe the one most challenging, emotionally charged, and time-consuming is that of motherhood. It is a full-time job in and of itself. Then, if you add a career of any sort to that occupation, you're dealing with quite the juggling act! Where is the balance? And how do you find it?
First of all, you need to determine what "balance" means for you. For me, balance is achieved when you find a system that allows for everyone to be happy, while still completing the necessary survival chores. In this balancing act are three main factors: Your children, your partner, and YOU! In a three-part series of posts, I'll focus on each factor and list ways that can help achieve that balance for which we're all searching.
Probably the main factor you're mostly worried about in this balancing act are your children. Am I spending enough time with them? Are they happy? Will our relationship be as strong as if I were to stay at home with them? Of course! Here is what I would suggest:
- Lose The Guilt! It's not like you're going to a salon every day, getting pedicures and massages for yourself! Your circumstance requires you to be working, in order to provide for your family. There is nothing wrong with that. You can make adjustments to your lifestyle that will allow for time spent with your children, to strengthen that bond you may be worried about. If you need more convincing, check out www.workingmomsagainstguilt.com where four working moms have collaborated ideas on how to "resist the guilt and embrace the journey."
- Incorporate your kiddos in your daily chores. Life doesn't stop because you have kids. Dinner still needs to be prepared, the house (somewhat) cleaned, etc. I keep a play "station" by the kitchen with books and crayons to keep the kids entertained while I make/clean up dinner so we can still interact. Both bathrooms and kitchen have step stools handy for involvement from my little people. And we try to make cleaning together "fun".
- Schedule "fun" time. No one in your household will survive if you stick to a rigorous routine. Break away from it every once in a while to take your kids to the park, bowling, or on a nature walk. Play dress-up, give piggy-back rides, or read books in a makeshift fort - anything that relieves the stresses you may have felt during your workday and puts the focus on you and your family.
- Maximize the quality of time spent with your children. Because of your work schedule, and by the time your kids go to sleep, you really only get to be with them 3-4 hours every day. Be creative with dinnertime, bath time, bedtime, etc. Take time to have conversations, sing, and play with them. These times you spend with your kids are the memories that will stay with them throughout their lives, much more than memories of a dirty kitchen floor!
About the Author: Camille is a thirty-something mommy with two beautiful daughters, Ad and C8, living in two worlds. By day, she works full-time as an employment recruiter/ staffing supervisor, with a 100-mile daily commute, living in a world governed by policies and professionalism. And by night, she transforms into a mother, living in a world where everything is governed by “Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Moe” and fun. Like so many other moms, she wishes she could stay at home with them, but certain situations require her to work full-time. To learn more about Camille visit www.makeitworkmom.comor contact her via twitter @makeitworkmom.