Last night I left my van windows down and it rained a hard rain which left my seats soaked. Yet I drove my son to school walked in with a wet bottom and then drove off to work with a new client and pulled my shirt down to hopefully cover my soaked bottom. I later discovered I had dog do on the bottom of my shoe – this was from picking up the dog do early in the morning, luckily I did not slip in it, because yes I have done that.
I’m not single but I feel like Michelle Pfeiffer in that movie with George Clooney,. Where she’s juggling work, being a woman and motherhood all with chaotic ease! I can relate to finding crayons and matchbox cars in my purse during a meeting, changing quickly into whatever I have in my bag or car because of an accident or a spill and the insane feeling of having to do it all because who else will do it if I don’t? I have to make that meeting but still make the soccer game, cook dinner and somehow pay the bills, feed the dog, pack lunches, email my child’s teacher, fold 10 loads of laundry and yes, shave my legs. Okay the shave my legs – that’s iffy some weeks sad to say!
Its nuts this so called “work-life-balance” women struggle to maintain. For me, personally I can think of a few things that need to improve to make my life different, better and less stressful.
1. Put my foot down. Just say no sometimes or maybe not yes in the first place. I mean, really I put a ton of the pressure on myself with my own expectations. The world will not come to an end if I cuddle up one evening and watch a movie with my daughter. The emails will be there in the morning!
2. Outsource. Yes, hire help if it’s affordable and if it’s not figure out how to make it possible because time is money. Help with the housekeeping, using TimeDog.com to help with simple to-do list tasks or having a neighborhood service mow-the-lawn.
3. Schedule time for me. I put everything else under the sun on my mental to-do list and calendar but not a spa day, haircut, dentist appointment or workout time. I need to make time for me and then just stick to it. Doing this will help me feel less stressed and more capable of balancing the responsibilities. I won’t feel so burnt out, rundown or deprived.
4. Have a Heart-To-Heart. My dear sweet husband and I need to sit down and balance out the household and child raising expectations and responsibilities more evenly. Too much falls on my shoulders and frankly, I let it happen and then complain about it later verses pro-actively changing it and sticking to my guns. What I do in a 12 hour time frame for the home, work and the children is far from and even balance and its leaving me frazzled and resentful. This isn’t good for my health, marriage or for my children. Unfortunately, I know too many women in my shoes. If only I could leave for work at 6am and return at 6pm and just focus on work without the worry of dinner, bills, kids, the dog and groceries and then read the paper when I got home!
I’ve noticed how women so often feel caught between their interests in family life and their creative or career aspirations. I wonder if it has to be this way. What would have to change—in your life, in people’s attitudes, or in our society—for women to have an easier time managing work-life balance? Share your answer below and like Smarter Life Better Planet on Facebook to be entered to win a Haier microwave for your family along with an additional microwave to be donated to the Food Bank for New York City!