Why is this? Why is balance SO hard for us? Is it because we are trying to mix two worlds that seem like water and oil?
I’ll take myself as an example.
When I’m working, I want to be in my nicely organized office, with a schedule, lots of checklists, and hot coffee. I want to be able to focus on what I need to get done and not need to stop every 5 min. I want to be productive and busy for the time I’m working. I want to wear regular clothes that look professional ready to hop on any call or meeting coming my way!
But when I’m a mom, I want to wear my mama clothes, whatever top I manage to find, and a hat to hide my hair that has clearly gone too many days without being brushed. I want to be outside and play with my kids at the beach. I want to have fun and focus on being in the moment, the only phone I want to be on is the pretend one my son hands me. I want to be carefree and wild and not have to check the time and instead wait for the sun to set before heading home and tucking my kids in bed.
So what does it look like when I have to mix the two?
It means I’m usually in regular clothes, with messy hair and bouncing between work and tending to the kiddos. I do (TRY) have set work hours and try my hardest to stick with them, but it means that when those work hours are over, I can’t be trying to sneak away and get a little bit more work done.
Sometimes I work at a desk, sometimes at a park, sometimes my bed, sometimes at the pool. Right now, I’m in my kitchen if you were wondering.
My hair is a mess 24/7, and I usually wear very little makeup because let’s face it, that’s one more thing that takes time to put on (and take off at the end of the day).
I try to bundle my work tasks to avoid getting distracted by doing too much at once, and that has helped a ton. I avoid talking on the phone because well, with two kids that doesn’t seem like the best way to communicate. I usually know what time it is, but ultimately lose track of the days. So overall I’d say it’s pretty organized mess around here most days. I have a good routine down at this point and balance to me means having both those worlds in one and that sometimes requires me to let go of that perfect idea of balance.
I think the hard part about it is the fact that those of us who work from home, have to find a way to balance those two worlds as one. We have to talk on our pretend phones in one hand, while not falling behind with our essential emails. We have to be able to stop mid-sentence and tend to tour little ones because they need something right at that moment and can’t wait another second. We have to be able to have an incredible work ethic, but not forget to play.
We have to realize that work/life balance is something that will always feel a little unbalanced, and that’s ok.
It’s time to stop comparing yourself with those around you that seem to have it all worked out so perfectly. I catch myself all the time admiring successful entrepreneurs getting what feels like so much more accomplished than me. Those people are not working from home and have kids. It’s not fair for you to that or me.
I had my daughter at 21. I welcomed that baby girl into my world. The world in which I was still growing up in myself. I started my business when she was little, so those worlds for me have always been connected, and I can say that at the end of the day, it has given me purpose and pushed me to work harder. Being a mama myself, was what brought me to find my passion as a photographer who loves to document motherhood and has to lead my work to what it is today. I think without being a mom, I would have never made it this far in life or business. My children gave me more drive to create something for myself and them.
They are and will always be my biggest motivators. I dream big for them.
Instead of focusing on how unbalanced you feel your life is at times, realize that you have one of the greatest motivators sitting on your lap watching you with big wondrous eyes.
It’s time to kiss balance goodbye.