Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Work Life Balance Rules- It gets better

I have been trying to get a handle on work life balance for the past year.

I think I am almost there... maybe.

When I started working after being a stay at home mom my heart ached for my little girl. I would beat myself up with guilt if I missed her bed time or left before she woke up in the morning- or worse left too early and got home too late and didn't get to see her at all. Add that to the mental and physical exhaustion from going back to work and I just about lost it.

It was too much all at once and I didn't know how I was going to survive.

Then I switched jobs. I switched to a place that allowed for flexible hours and I got a position that was closer to home. These were two key things that helped to level me out. Still it took awhile for me to get used to working. Honestly, the physical exhaustion still gets to me, but hey it's better than when I first started out.

So to all you moms out there just going back to work and feeling like this- please know that it gets better. You have to make rules for yourself to ensure you get enough time with the family and yourself. Being bogged down with guilt and stress doesn't help your productivity at work or make you pleasant to be around at home. Here are some of the rules I have made for myself:

If I plan to go into work early, I leave at a decent hour to make sure I kiss my baby girl goodnight (at the very least)

If I know I'll be working late I'll visit at lunch or I'll go in a little later to make sure I get some quality snuggle time.

The weekends, for the most part are family time. I do have a social life, but generally I used the entire weekend to catch up for time missed during the week.

Work for a company that is family friendly- my boss totally understands that family comes first and as long as I am doing my job and performing well there is no issue if I need to take care of family matters.

Choose a position that doesn't make you cry everyday due to stress (uh yea, I made the mistake but only once, but it taught me the importance of work environment, not just $$$)

Go to the gym. I started going to the gym back in April. Sometimes I'll go 5 days a week, sometimes I'll only make it once. Either way I am still taking some time out to do something healthy for me. I can't stress enough that even though this takes time away from work and family, you have to take care of yourself too. Whether it be a hobby, working out, taking a class, whatever- do something for yourself- it will do you a wonder of good.

Give my mind a rest. For me this means scrolling through pinterest, reading through blogs, books or magazines, looking at art, etc. All of this stuff inspires me to work on a non-work related projects such as re-decorating the house, helping me plan my daughters birthday party, picking out necessities for travel, and so on. Sometimes I literally just compile my "Lust List" of things I'd like to buy and that will be that. Other times I will actually create something. Either way I am taking time out to focus on something that is totally not work related, and leaves me feeling relaxed, motivated and inspired.

Do you have any tips on work life balance? Did you struggle when first returning to work after having a baby? I'd love to hear your stories!


  1. I don't have kids and I have a job that requires me to work regular full time hours and even I sometimes just feel like weekends are enough. Glad you are finding a balance. Life is really too short to stress and not have time for yourself and your family.

  2. You are totally right! I guess they call it "work" for a reason ;)