Today I dropped a ball. A ball I cared about and I feel guilty. Guilty for not completing a task, guilty that I chose my children over work, guilty that most mornings I wake up and just want to sleep all day. I read what feels like a thousand articles on work life balance and I pretty sure it doesn’t exist. Or at least it doesn’t exist for moms/parents. The last time I can remember having work/life balance was when I was a teenager. I worked full time in the summers, 9-5 at an office job. I worked hard, collected my paycheque and headed home at the end of each day excited for a whole evening ahead to myself. I didn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, paying bills, pleasing other people, or meeting deadlines. I was responsible only for myself, some chores and saving for University.
When I was in University and even when I was first working I thought I was SO busy. Deadlines, expectations and bills were my only worries. I had lots of time to read, slept in on weekends and spent endless hours with friends. I had some responsibilities but looking back they were pretty minimal. I used to wonder why members of my book club didn’t get the book read for meetings. I read three books in the time it took them to read one. I had no idea how many directions I would feel pulled in when I became a mom.
Now, things are different. As a single parent, working mother and blogger life looks very different. It’s filled with more rewards, amazing experiences and deeper friendships. There are lots of laughs, plenty of tears and many late exhausting nights. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it is absolutely worth every difficult minute. I rarely meet book club deadlines, I stare at endless piles of work and I often get overwhelmed by my email inbox. I know that work life balance does not exist. There is absolutely no way that you can accomplish the demands or today’s work world with the pressures of parenting and your own needs/wants. There just isn’t enough time in the day.
It’s hard to find the right amount of time to devote to all the aspects of my life. I used to be impeccably organized, my attention to detail was exceptional and I never missed deadlines. I am starting to accept that all of those things aren’t possible. I am trying to let go of guilt and live in the moment. When I am at work I focus on work. When I am with my boys, they have my full attention. I am focusing on being present. I am counting my blessings and telling my boys a million times a day that I love them. I am trying to be more patient, more forgiving of myself and I now book babysitters regularly to ensure I get time for myself.
My to-do list is ever increasing, my sleep is constantly interrupted but my heart is so very full. Full of love for my boys, gratitude for my friends and family and thankful for support, new opportunities and a great life. While I know that work life balance does not exist I feel I will continuously be chasing some sort of balance, or at the very least a good nights sleep.