I consider my life a fine dance in balancing work, family, and personal obligations. Sometimes, my rhythm is a little off, and other times, I feel like I should be a contestant on 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Being a mom is challenging within itself, but adding the pressures of working outside the home really takes extreme coordination between all facets of my life. I still remember my first day back to work after maternity leave, crying as I pulled out of my parking lot, thinking 'How am I going to do all of this?!?!?'. Between my hour commute each way, demanding schedule working in IT, trying (and I say trying VERY loosely) to make home cooked meals at least a few nights a week, cleaning, laundry, and oh yeah, family time, I am exhausted each night. Actually, exhaustion is an understatement. Add to all of this, my daughter is now teething and stopped sleeping through the night, I am now a walking zombie.
I admit, I've had a few moments where I broke down and cried. It just became a lot. But each time, I picked myself back up, because I know that my situation is not unique. There are plenty of mothers that work, and they go through the same struggles that I do. Heck, there are plenty mothers that are SAHM, and go through the same struggles that I do. So in order to maintain some sanity within my life, I had to get practical:
1. I put laundry in the washer as soon as I get home from work, and put it in the dryer after my daughter's bed time.
2. All clothes, lunches, back packs are packed the night before
3. Meal planning has saved my life (well, maybe not my life, but saved me from many an anxious moment)
4. I got real with my boss. Flex time is essential for my life. I'm good at what I do, and he knows that I will always get the job done, whether it's in the office or from home. My boss is amazing, and has truly worked with me and my schedule, so that I can satisfy both my work responsiblities and my family obligations
5. I gave up trying to be the perfect mom. My new goal is to let my daughter know how much I love her every day, and let her know that Mommy is doing everything possible to be the best Mommy for her, not necessarily to anyone else's standards
How do you balance your life, whether you work outside the home or within it? What methods help you maintain your sanity?