Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

“I’m Not Getting Anything Done”;

“There’s no such thing as work/life balance” or 

“I Hate to Break it to You, But You CAN’T Have It All!”

Despite the fact that every single person that had more than one child told me so, I didn’t realize just how much more work two little ones would be than one! 

One was easy peasy… Sure, there were challenges with our precocious 2 year old, but she slept for 12 hours solid, she had a laid back temperament, she was almost always happy. In short, she was an easy child.

She slept (and still does at 5 years old) about 12 hours straight every night… so there was plenty of time for me to tidy the house, catch up on work, do little projects like clean out the pantry or organize my closet!

I could get up early if I had to catch up on something or stay up a bit later.

Then came along our second little “bundle of joy”!

And she was (is) amazing in so many ways… but she DIDN’T SLEEP! 

I mean… I guess some people have it worse, so I’m not complaining. 

Well maybe I am a little!

But, I’m not one that does well without my sleep! 

When she was a baby, she’d go down “okay” around 8:00, and she’d be up between 4:30 and 6:30 EVERY DAY! And I’m not talking about for a few minutes here and there. She was up for the DAY! Oh and naps? Not so much!

As the next few years passed, it got a little better, but she’s never been my sleeper. If anyone so much “stirs” 

I know some people say not to worry about a messy house or dirty laundry… to enjoy them while they’re little!

But what about those of us who really feel better when our house is in order and the laundry put away? Or those of us that also have companies they run, albeit from home? Or those of us who simply feel “yucky” because we can’t get our pre-baby body back because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day!

OK so here’s the thing… your kids ARE the single most important thing in your life. PERIOD. They likely have been since the moment you knew you were carrying these tiny little humans inside, but there are other things that are important to you… as a mom… as a wife… as an employee or business owner… as a friend… as a PERSON… you get the point!

And everyone will tell you that you can have it all or you can balance it all…

Well, I hate to break it to you. You can’t!

Your life, the moment you decided to have children, will never be in “balance” again.

Before you stop reading or think this is going to be a negative post. It’s not at all! It IS about being realistic and giving yourself some room to breathe, especially if you’re trying to juggle a house, being a mama, and any kind of work, whether you have a full fledged business, a side hustle, or a full time job/career, and taking some time for yourself/spouse/friends.

The good news… you CAN do/have all of these things!

The bad news… you can’t give them all 100% or even 25%/25%/25%/25%.

Gary Keller wrote in “The One Thing”: “The reason we shouldn’t pursue balance is that magic never happens in the middle; magic happens at the extremes.”

For instance, because I work hard “most” of the time, we can take vacations whenever we want (for the most part). We’re able to get annual passes to DisneyWorld and extend our trips to Florida by a couple of days whenever we want to play in Orlando. Or, when we sit down on New Years and come up with trips we want to take for the next year, we can plan a month in Italy for the summer where we can focus on our kids and experience as a family during that time.

Let me step back and tell you a little about me so you can understand where I’m coming from!

I have two little girls who are my world… end of story! But, unfortunately, there’s a bigger world out there and I have to deal with other things like my business. My husband and I have an 7-figure email company that we have to run by day. We flip houses for “fun” (our goal is 10-12 a year). We have some other smaller ‘businesses’. I have EmmaAndEllie.com. We work from home and have a house to maintain and keep up with. And add in some hobbies (like photography) and health (like exercise and healthy eating which takes time)… and there you have a pretty full schedule. Oh yeah… and since I’m human, I do need to sleep. Truthfully, I am pretty useless without 6-8 good hours of rest.

So, how do you ‘balance’ all of that?

I don’t. Some days I give 80% of my time, energy and effort just being “mom”… These are the days one of them needs to stay home from school and they need extra snuggles and play time or attention… or when there’s a holiday event at school and I choose to show up and show my support so my girls know I’m there for all the important things in their lives…

For example, today was “Thanksgiving” at school. Ellie’s lunch was at 11:00 and Emma’s was at 11:45. Add 15 minutes to/from school and a quick stop at the grocery store to grab dinner items so we could make it to swimming on time! I had to leave at 4:15 to make it to swimming on time and feed them between classes, get them in their PJs and to bed all on time!

Other days, I have to leave them at school til 5 because I have to deal with a pressing issue with our development team or a customer service problem that needs my attention. I realize that plenty of kids go to school or daycare for 10 hours a day every day and are just fine… And on those days, it’s just a whirlwind to get them home, fed, bathed and to bed on time. These nights are more hollering and then going to bed feeling guilty for not making those moments I had special, but heck… you’ve got to take care of basic needs regardless!

Then there are times when the house is simply a disaster and I have no choice but to stop everything and work on my space. When my house is a mess, I’m stressed and frustrated and never 100% productive or at peace in any other area. I plan to get up early in the morning and Ellie happens to wake at 4:48 crushing any plans of early morning productivity. So I wake up stressed, not the patient and kind mother I strive to be and start all of our days on a sour note! NOT the way I want my kids to start their days nor behavior I want them to model.

So what do you do when you have more to do than there are hours in the day?

You choose!

You choose what to focus on TODAY so you keep the important things front and center. Sure, there are days that I have to work a little longer or times when the dishes simply need to be done. At those moments, my girls need to realize I need a little time and they need to play with their babies on their own for a little while. It doesn’t mean I’m not a good mother or I’m letting their childhood slip by.

It models for my children that you need to take care of day to day… It teaches my children that a clean and organized home is a healthy environment. They understand the value of working hard for something… (because I work so hard so much, it enables me to take vacations to DisneyWorld and give them undivided attention for a week straight or the ability to attend every event they have at school because I can take the time away from business).

It’s about realizing that there is always going to be something that’s taking more of your attention. You


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