Before having a baby I had a pretty solid routine that allowed me to balance my day job, blogging, freelancing and being a loving wife, partner and friend. I would spend my mornings making breakfast and lunch for Neil and I and would catch up on e-mails. I would go to my office job and then I would come home in the afternoon, workout, catch up on e-mails and work on blog items or freelance work. Early evenings were spent with Neil and/or friends enjoying dinner or a drink or going to some event. Late evenings I caught up on a little more work and then it was time for bed so I could sleep and do it all over again.
Balancing life and work–> Edith with me at my blog conference a few weeks ago
Well needless to say times have changed. I no longer have an office job and I am not just a wife, partner and friend but a mom. To top it off I am a stay-at-home mom and a part-time work-at-home mom. When Edith was tiny and slept all the time I found the transition from working at home with no baby to working at home with a baby really easy transition. Even despite being a little more sleep deprived I was still able to find time to balance my freelance gigs, blogging, keeping house, being a mom and being a wife, partner and friend.
Here we are a year later and let me tell you I am working hard to keep the balance in my life. Edith is on the go and is just days away from walking and then of course running so my hands are full in mommyland. Now I still have blogging and freelance gigs to stay on top of and I have a house that is always in need of cleaning, oh and I am still a wife, partner and friend. Being able to find balance with everything is challenging at times but with a few easy steps I am able to (for the most part):
1. Prioritize. One of the biggest things for me is prioritizing me time. I make a list at the start of the week or the day if I am able to of everything I want to accomplish and then I take a look at it and see what five things take priority. I choose five things because If I can get one major item accomplished each day of the week then that is great. When I try to do more than that I often don’t complete everything.
2. Make time for me. When Edith was little I never made enough time for me and by the end of the month I was burnt out. I was cranky and overwhelmed and ready to burst. Now I make sure to take at least 10-15 minutes once Neil is home to make time for me to do something that I enjoy.
3. Ask for help. Sometimes you just need help. I wish I was superwoman but last time I checked there was no shiny cape hanging in my closet so instead I delegate and ask for help. It can be a real struggle at times to ask for help because it makes us feel like we are admitting we can’t do everything but honestly we can’t do everything so find someone who supports you and ask them to help. It could be as much as asking a family member to pick up a few grocery essentials when they are out or having a friend come over and watch you baby so you can meet a deadline.
4. Say ‘No’. It’s okay to say no. This is one thing that I have really had to work on because when you have blogging or freelance gigs being handed out to you it is really hard to turn them down. In the end I often have to because from experience if I take on too many at one time I either miss a deadline or do a half-assed job.
5. Be Flexible. Flexibility is essential for me to keep the balance in my life. For example recently Neil took a new position at a new company that now has him commuting 2-3 hours per day. This was a huge change for me since prior to this he had been commuting 25-35 minutes per day. Suddenly I couldn’t work in the mornings and the evenings are a little shorter since he gets home so much later so I am having to reevaluate things to find a new balance that works with this change. We have another move coming up, just a short one closer to Neil’s new job, and when that happens I’ll have to reconfigure my balance again.
I’d like to say that I am always able to keep perfectly balanced but there are many days where work takes over or being a mom takes priority. I think balance is something that takes time and work to maintain but as I said above you need to be flexible as well because just when we start to get comfortable life changes.
How do you keep the balance in your life? Do you have any of your own tips to share?
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