Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Work-Life Balance and Other Myths

The other day I got an email from a friend and former colleague whom I just learned is expecting her second baby. Her first will turn one at the end of this week, and the second is due in December, so they will be close together.

She wrote: "I don't know how you balance work, four kids and a house. You are seriously Superwoman. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with just one baby and no "paying" job."

Superwoman? Ha! Far from it girl. Why just this morning I realized that if I didn't get it in gear and do a load of laundry I'd be out of underwear by tomorrow. And for a minute I contemplated just going to buy more. That's not exactly the way a superhero would do the job around here.

Over the years I have learned that  it's a myth that you can "balance" work, kids and life in general.

So I don't even try.

My method is more like the guy at the circus who spins the plates on the poles. In order to keep things moving you have to let some other things go. The trick is to figure out which plates you need to keep spinning, and which ones you can let slow down -- or even crash to the ground.

So the house doesn't get cleaned for a couple of weeks. Or the blog gets a little neglected. Or you have to complete work assignments at midnight. Or the laundry piles up a bit. Or the kids watch a little too much TV one day so you can cook or clean. Eventually things change and you can put those plates back in motion, if you want to.

As long as the most important plates keep spinning, it's all okay.

And when things start crashing down right and left I just look around and wonder where the heck my lovely assistant is with that box of new plates.

© Trippin' Mama 2010


Emily & Ed said...


And who invented the term multi-tasking? I attempt, but truly have not mastered more than 1 task at a time. I may have more than 1 thing going at same time, but reality - still working on 1 thing and 1 day at a time.

Suz said...

Amen, sister!