Ok so one of the questions I’m asked all the time now is ‘how do you do it all’? I think most working mama’s out there are asked this question daily. So I’m going to try and tackle this one on behalf of all those mamas out there.
Ok so full disclosure here…It’s a question I’m almost embarrassed to answer. I think everyone expects you to have the answer. I mean who really does have this work life balance thing down? Does it even exist? Am I right or am I right!?
I think we all ask ourselves the same question everyday, and none of us really have the answer…How do you balance work, family, a social life, and maybe a gym class or two?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for finding a happy balance between work and being a mum but the truth is finding that balance is all about finding out what works for you. Everyone is different, every family is different so what works for you may not work for someone else…It’s all about making a few small changes and figuring out what works for you.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. It can be something as simple as going for a walk, taking a bath, having a cup of tea with your mum or reading a couple of pages of that book you have been promising to start.
It’s all about finding the time for yourself and the people around you. As they say, the best gift you can give to someone is your time.
We’re all so busy rushing around that we forget to enjoy what’s right under our noses. I’m guilty of this too…I have been know to be sending an email, watching Love Island, and playing with the girls all at the same time…I was doing neither of these three things! We’re all trying to juggle so much that we are afraid to drop the ball. But what if it was ok to drop the ball for awhile and give something else our undivided attention. We can always pick that ball up again after right?
For me, it’s quality over quantity when it comes to finding some version of work-life balance. It’s about making the time to spend with yourself and the people around you. It not about how many hours you ‘put in’ its about being there, and I mean really being there.
One thing I suffer from is ‘mom guilt’. Are you even a mom if you don’t? But I think we all need to give ourselves a break and realise that we are doing the best job we can. It doesn’t matter if you forget the school lunches, or hide in the laundry room eating ‘treats’ (yes I have done that!) it’s about being present during the time you do have with the people you love. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and really listen. Be there, be all there. It’s about treasuring the simple moments. It’s not all about the big birthday parties. What about the little moments. The moments that often matter the most.
So what works for me? (And remember this may not work for you…) Find your groove, find out what works for you and start now…Start small but start now.
Putting down my phone in the evening has really worked for me…when Stephen and I come in from work we put our phones on the mantle piece to avoid the distraction.It just means that we can be all there when we are with our girls in the evening. We may not be at home all day, but when we are home the girls have our full undivided attention…because well…they deserve nothing less. And another plus…it helps with the mom guilt!
Heading to yoga in the evening is an essential part of my day now. I used to have all the excuses; ‘I’m too tired’, ‘I haven’t seen the girls’, the list goes on…but now I make the time to go. I put the girls to bed and head off then. It gives me the time I need to relax, unwind and recharge for the next day. I don’t know if it’s just me but yoga is one place I find inspiration and motivation. My dad reckons its because I have space to think…who knows but it seems to be working for now. I would definitely recommend yoga/hot yoga to anyone! There are so many amazing benefits!
Getting fresh air in the evenings with the girls is so important. We usually head to the playground or go for a walk along the beach. The girls love the beach! It’s amazing to see how much fun they have without one toy or tablet. The energy in the wind, and the sea is so invigorating! We all go home with clear heads and the girls sleep so well after all the activity! Even better is if you can brave a sea swim. A couple of evenings ago myself and Willow got in for a little swim…I wont lie it was FREEZING! But once we got going we were perfect and felt amazing when we got out! Might be worth a try…
Catching up with friends and family is so important. I have only realised how much I have been neglecting spending time with the people who love me and support me. Over the last year I have been telling myself that I just didn’t have the time, but I now know that’s just not true. It’s about making the time. I’m so lucky to have such amazing family and friends who support me (and put up with me!) every day…and I intend on making a lot more time for them.
Closing the bathroom door– that may sound crazy but the one thing I never get to do is take a bath or shower without one of the girls ending in on top of me…it’s a luxury I just don’t have…Now I close the bathroom door, put on a face mask, a bit of music and take a bath…It may only happen ones a week but it’s my ‘me-time’ and I love it!
So here’s the truth…I don’t think there is a work-life balance…I think we all need to find what works for us…there is no right or wrong. It’s about trying a few things and discovering what works best for you and your family. What’s most important is that we don’t miss out on the simple moments. The moments that matter the most.
‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory’-Dr Suess