The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Beth Anne Ballance.
It was never my dream to be a working mother. I assumed that my life would pan out pretty much like my own mom – get married, work a few years, buy a house, get pregnant, stay home to raise the kiddos while getting dinner on the table and maintaining a respectable level of sanity. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in an entirely different situation – buying a home at the top of the market, only for the economy to crash two years later. Stagnant job opportunities. Student loans. Car payments. Medical bills. And so when my small boy was 13 weeks old, I slipped back into my high heels and headed back to the office.
I’ve been doing this gig (reluctantly at times, passionately at others) for well over a year now. My biggest struggle has been finding balance between wife, mother, and employee. In the beginning, I sobbed daily over how I was supposed to fit it all in a mere 24-hour day. How does a mother commute two hours, work nine hours, then come home and successfully parent, love, cook, clean, launder, and sleep?
The honest truth – she doesn’t.
Any mother who claims to juggle all of it deserves to be punched in the face for the blatant lies spewing from her mouth. (I’m guess she lists her maid under “cleaning supplies” in her checkbook to cover the dirty truth.)
It’s been a hard lesson or me this past year, but the key to being a working momma is letting it all go.
The perfection? Let it go. Spotless floors? Let it go. Made from-scratch pancakes? Let it go.
Not to say that your floors should be a pigsty or that your family should live off Stouffer’s. I just mean that if you’re run-down after a hard day at the office and the kids are running in circles around you, it’s more than okay to send the rascals outside for 15 minutes while you pop a pizza in the oven and pour a glass of vino.
Allow yourself to create work-life balance that works for your family by setting priorities.
Personally, I decided to not have access to work from home – my work email remains on my work computer and I do not disclose my cell phone number. I use Swiffer on my floors more than a good ol’ fashioned mop. My crockpot sees more action than my good china and casseroles reign supreme, but I do get a hot homemade meal in my family more often than not. Most of the time, there are fresh flowers on the table for me and baked treats on the counter for my husband. I hang on to extra pounds because I prefer to write on the internet at night rather than go to the gym. Also, please excuse the pile of shoes at the bottom of the stairs – I have been meaning to put those away, but routinely get distracted by taking evening walks with my main squeezes.
Obviously, this won’t work for everyone, but that is the beauty of creating your own custom-made balance. Dig deep, let it go, and the balance will fall into place.