As a life coach for working moms trying to rediscover themselves... I get a lot of questions about balancing work and family. It's natural to focus on work family balance, because working moms place an incredibly high value on both their careers and their families. Even if the "job" isn't a choice, many working moms want to be esteemed in their work, put 110% percent into their jobs, and need that paycheck!
There's a lot of back and forth in working mom world about balance. I wrote about it once and officially declared "balance" to be a cuss word. Some of us feel like it's unattainable and an unfair expectation. Some of us feel like we can have it all and enjoy it too.
Before we can collectively decide if balancing work and family is a fair expectation or an unrealistic one, there's a massively important point that's being overlooked. Without getting this straight, we'll all be flopping back and forth between "I want balance" and "balance is for the birds" until the end of time.
That one critically missing piece is clarity.
What is work life balance? What does it look like to experience balancing work and family?
Each family has a different idea of what balance looks like. Without getting crystal clear on exactly what work life balance means to you, you can't have it. (click to tweet) You can't dismiss it. All you can do is long for it.
So get out your pencil, word processing program, or felt tip markers. Find a quiet place for 5 minutes. If you have to lock yourself in the bathroom do it - because if you don't write this out, it's going on the back burner.
Step 1 to Discovering Balanced Living
1) Write on your piece of paper: "The word balance means to me....." and don't answer the question yet.
2) Close your eyes for just a minute and let the word "balance" float into your mind. Thoughts might come up and that's fine, just bring the world "balance" back into your mind. Let the word "balance" seep all the way into your mind, body, and breath.
3) When you open your eyes, begin writing on the question. Write straight for 3 minutes, no judgment on what comes out. A vision, a stream of consciousness, random words... let it flow without judgment.
4) Post it where you can see it - where you wake up in the morning, where you have your evening tea - anywhere you can reflect on it. For 7 days, take a short note about how any of the things you wrote ARE or ARE NOT playing out in your daily life.
Stay tuned for Part 2, Aligning Vision with Values!