Let's talk about balance for a minute. This topic crosses my mind a lot, and it's something that is often at the top of the list when I work with other moms who work from home.
"I don't know how to balance everything. Between running a business, having kids, finding time to edit, spending enough time with my husband, and time for myself...it just seems like I'm constantly stressed out about something."
Why is this? Why is balance SO hard for us? Is it because we are trying to mix two worlds that seem like water and oil?
I'll take myself as an example.
When I'm working, I want to be in my nicely organized office, with a schedule, lots of checklists, and hot coffee. I want to be able to focus on what I need to get done and not need to stop every 5 min. I want to be productive and busy for the time I'm working. I want to wear a pretty outfit that matches and have my hair and makeup done and be ready to hop on any call or meeting coming my way!
But when I'm a mom, I want to wear my yoga pants, an old t-shirt, and a baseball cap. I want to be outside and play with my kids at the park. I want to have fun and focus on being in the moment, the only phone I want to be on is the pretend one my son hands me. I want to be carefree and wild and not have to check the time and instead wait for the sun to set before heading home and tucking my kids in bed.
So what does it look like when I have to mix the two?
It means I'm usually barefoot in a dress. Not just because I think dresses are pretty, but because it's a lot less effort. Think about it, wearing dresses has eliminated me having to put together a whole outfit that matches. I do have set work hours and try my hardest to stick with them, but it means that when those work hours are over, I can't be trying to sneak away and get a little bit more work done. I drink lots of coffee. Sometimes I work at a desk, sometimes at a park, sometimes my bed, sometimes at the pool. Right now I'm in my kitchen if you were wondering. My hair is a mess 24/7 and I usually wear very little makeup. There's really no sense to putting on mascara because I know the kids will want to go swimming after school and I rather not look like a raccoon swimming in the pool. I avoid talking on the phone because well, with two kids that just doesn't seem like the best way to communicate. I usually know what time it is, but completely lose track of the days. So overall I'd say it's pretty messy. I have a good routine down at this point and balance to me means having both those worlds in one and that sometimes requires me to let go of that perfect idea of balance.
I think the hard part about it is the fact that those of us who work, from home, have to find a way to balance those two worlds as one. We have to talk on our pretend phones in one hand, while not falling behind with our important emails. We have to be able to stop mid sentence and tend to tour little ones because they need something right that moment and can't wait another second. We have to be able to have an incredible work ethic, but not forget to play.
We have to realize that balance is something that will always feel a little unbalanced and that's ok.
It's time to stop comparing yourself with those around you that seem so have it all worked out so perfectly. I catch myself all the time admiring successful entrepreneurs getting what feels like so much more accomplished than me. Those people are not working from home and have kids. It's not fair for me or you to that.
I had my daughter at 21. Almost nine years ago I welcomed that little baby into my world. The world in which I was still growing up myself. I started my business when she was little, so those worlds for me have always been connected. Being a mom, was what brought me to finding my passion for photography and has lead my work to what it is today. I think without being a mom, I would have never made it this far in life or business. My daughter and son gave me more drive to create something for myself, and for them. They are and will always be my biggest motivators. I work hard for them.
Instead of focusing on how unbalanced you feel your life is at times realize that you have one of the greatest motivators sitting on your lap watching you with big wonderous eyes.
It's time to kiss balance goodbye.