We closed on our suburban home last week. I measured and planned, priced materials and found subcontractors for some initial home renovations, found renters for the condo in the city, pushed Leighton seven thousand times on her new swing, hatched a few landscaping plans and ...
... oh yeah - I did all of that in my spare time. I worked all week - Saturday too.
Spare time? What the hell is that? I meant to say that I did everything I mentioned in lieu of getting the requisite amount of sleep a human needs to remain sane and not age exponentially faster than expected.
I am out of whack. Fat. Chakras need balancing. I'm so tired. Writing promotes my balance and I haven't done much of it lately. Recommitting.
Lately, my discussions with a close friend have turned to the subject of work life balance and the ways in which moms define and achieve this. I believe that whether or not a mother achieves work life balance depends ENTIRELY on how she defines it.
At this point in my mom career, I don't see how it's possible to balance work and life. Work eats up 75% of my awake time, Leighton gets 75% of my energy, friends and family earn 25% of my effort and friends laundry, Dr. appointments, travel, changing batteries and light bulbs, moving, eating and television get the other 25%.
I'm working at 200% efficiency. Sweet. Sweet, and impossible to maintain without cogs popping and springs flying out of my head.
Moreover, I believe that work life balance (by any definition) ABSOLUTELY CANNOT exist when you have very small children. Properly cultivating a tiny human being takes a most enormous direction of effort which inevitably spurs the half-assing of nearly every other task on the list.
This doesn't just apply to "working" moms. I say "working" because we're all doing the work. However, I have to imagine that moms who stay home may yearn for the interaction of the workplace or the self-fulfillment that is part and parcel to a career. The balance is simply skewed in the other direction. When you wear a suit all day, you long for anything with an elastic waist. When you're covered in snot and food all day, you long for a quiet moment in your office. I work from home. I feel both sides throughout the course of any given week.
I may be wrong, but I'm operating under the assumption that the balance will tip in mom's favor once the littlest one heads off to school. I am clinging to this truth, however illusory. Please let me be right.
How do you work toward your balance? Are you getting there? Do you do your work with the kids or in an office? Please post a comment and share your fuss with us.