We are moms, and I know many are like me and want it all. I didn't want to give up a career for motherhood. I didn't want to sacrifice family for work (in fact, that is the reason I ditched my job in journalism after 15 years).
This is a major reason I blog. I want the ability to enjoy both work and life. That doesn't mean it is always easy for me, and I think for many women.
I refuse to accept that I can be either a mom or a professional, but not both.
One big issue is that I feel the need to do it all, and I am horrible at asking for help. My sanity is usually what has paid the price, and I often have ended up running myself right into the group until I completely burned out. I can feel the stress and anxiety building up, and it is not healthy.
I am getting much better, but balancing work and life is probably one of my biggest challenges.
Here are some tips on maintaining your sanity while seeking some semblance of life-work balance:
Know when to walk away, even if it is just for a short time. This applies to work OR life. Sometimes, you need a break from one or both to recharge and get perspective back... or to rediscover your enjoyment.
Dedicate time for BOTH work and life. Try to separate the two as much as possible. I know many parents who work at home probably do what I did: tried to "multi-task" by overlapping working and time with family. It just doesn't work, and is a bit like driving and eating. You do neither one well.
Prioritize. It kills me as a type-A to admit it, but we truly cannot do it all and some things have to wait or even not be done. Period. The sooner you accept that and learn to identify what truly is urgent and important (hint: most things are not), the better off you will be.
Underpromise and overdeliver. I am so bad at this one and it is one of my current challenges I am working on, but I am trying. My tendency is to overpromise and then beat myself up if I don't deliver. When you are inclined to say yes, ask yourself if the better answer is maybe or not right no or (*gasp*) even no. When you are inclined to say right away, consider realistically when you will get it done.
So those are my tips, but I still struggle quite a bit to balance work and life without losing my mind, to keep sane in the madness of parenthood, blogging, business, marriage, everyday tasks, to-do lists and the 70 million other things we all juggle.
Photo © lululemonathletica on Flickr/Creative Commons License
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!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Haier. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules.