There is no such thing as work life balance, especially if you are a Mum, one of those ones that do it all themselves.
If you have kids, and you are their mother, then I believe it’s laughable to consider you will have balance if you choose to work full time.
You can have kids, and you can have a job, but you are superwoman in my eyes if you have balance.
It’s taken me 13 years to have ALL the washing washed and put away by Sunday evening – Seriously 13 years, it happened for the first time, yesterday. Think of the piles of laundry or the rubbish from supermarket processed meal solutions, or fast food wrappers, an easy way of measuring the out of balance.
I gave most of my time to my kids when they were young, and now being full time self-employed, my current workload guilt is lessened now because of all the time I put into my kids when I could.
I highly recommend finding balance with your kids by giving them a good weight of time in their early years. Often in these years, given the inclination, you can find a little hobby or business niche that is authentically you, fits around the kids, and you can make an income from. It’s worth the gamble to take the time out to find a space to create something that suits you, and these are good years to lay a foundation and explore.
In my case this was face painting, www.FabArt.co.nz. Selling face paint online and making face painting easy. This little niche hobby business led me to large events and music – you’ll still find me at Splore, and in the past Rhythm and Vines even gave me a contract to sort out the vendors, leading me to think I could take on bigger things!
In 2014 after finding the most amazing event specialist business partner hiding in the vines at Rhythm and Vines, we together acquired The Great NZ Craft Show.
However now my marriage structure wasn’t allowing for balance – If I stopped martyring myself in this relationship I could find time and energy for other things I actually wanted to do.
So my husband and I split into two households and children are shared week about. He stopped working overseas, found the opportunity to be Dad and we had an amicable separation. The outcome I can highly recommend– two dedicated parents living in separated houses – the kids have the best from their parents and parents get a week to practice being adults and having balance.
I reckon with a bit less significance more of us could plan parenting this way, especially now that is so hard to pay the bills without everyone contributing. This model of parenting is improved by the generous dose of hands-on grandparenting it allows for (that’s my way of saying thanks to Mum and Dad).
I have learned lessons post marriage about partnership, and doing what your good at.
After years of happily existing in my busy kitchen I no longer see the mess. I mean I see it, but it’s familiar and comfortable, and plus cooking is my thing – not the cleaning. To clean just delays the cooking. Now my partner, he can cook if he must, but being in the garage is far preferable for him cooking and here again we find balance. He will find the time to clean the kitchen and do the dishes for me.
He’s so grateful for my yummy food that he’ll clean the kitchen up – just so I can make another mess doing what I love – cooking nutritious yummy food from scratch. Then while I’m cooking he can play in his garage. I’ve learned good partnerships provide balance, and that it’s wise to choose wisely.
Balance for me is finding the time to make a home cooked meal, cake or getting some preserves into jars. Balance is loving being at work, and loving being at home. Balance is having time to spend on everything that is important to you. To find balance you must first have a great relationship with yourself, then find what sits opposite on the scales, maybe a great partner, a family, or an occupation you love, hell why not have it all?!
Ultimately I believe balance comes from building great relationships with self and others, the more contributions we have from the people we have in our lives, the less we feel the burden of all there is to do.
Doing everything yourself? Forget it. The world already has enough martyrs.