Working at an accounting firm for the past nine years, I’ve grown accustomed to the seasonal cycle of busy seasons and off-seasons. With the passing of the April 15th tax deadline, right now I’m excited to enjoy the rest of spring, start planning summer fun, and have a better work/life balance for awhile. I tend to think of all the responsibilities in my life like a pendulum; sometimes it swings way over to work, other times it’s fully on the family and home end (like during the holidays!). Usually it’s somewhere in between.
I once heard the phrase, “You can have it all, just not all at once.” As a working mom, this has become my mantra!
Of course I’d always prefer to be home with my family instead of putting in extra hours at work. But, I also know that to do my job well, I have to be flexible and willing to work more when the need arises. I’m lucky to have a lot of flexibility in my job, but that can also be a challenge to manage. I used to have days where I’d work from home while the kids were home with me. I quickly learned that was not a wise use of time. I would end up feeling like I didn’t work enough nor was I present with the kids. Now I’m more mindful of whether a chunk of time is “work time” or “family time” and try not to combine them.
Sometimes even family time can be “imbalanced”. For example, this weekend I had a lot of Sienna focused activities. She and I saw a play together on Friday evening and then had a Daisy scouts “Fairy Garden Party” on Sunday afternoon. All four of us had a relaxing Saturday and were together at church on Sunday, but still I felt like I didn’t have enough one-on-one time with Mateo. Then I remembered that he and I were going to be home together, just the two of us, on Friday. Knowing that his turn for focused mommy time was coming up soon made me feel better.
Trying to keep things “balanced” on a daily basis is not only impossible but also incredibly anxiety producing! I’m sure that the weight of all the tasks and responsibilities on my plate helped to push me into a hyper planning and controlling mindset. This idea of “having it all, just not all at once” also aligns well with my attempts to be in the moment, surrender planning, and depend on God. I can rest assured that, as long as I continue to focus on the things I value in life – faith in Christ, my family, friends, health, and working hard – everything will be taken care of, without having to intensely control everything.
What do you think of the idea of “having it all”? Is it possible? How do you find “balance”?