Can we really have it all?
I got married at 19 and dropped out of college when I had my first at 20. I stayed home with him. I made fancy freezer meals and made sure our apartment was always spotless because that is what I thought motherhood was. But then my second one came along and everything kind of fell apart. I was meeting my kid’s needs and that’s about it.
The house looked like an episode from Hoarders. A bad case of postpartum and a lot of therapy later, I realized that staying at home was not for me. But how the heck are you supposed to balance being the primary caretaker and be a breadwinner at the same time?
The quest for work-life balance is the reason MomPlex exists, but even having a few hours a day to focus on “work” while you know your kids are safe and having fun doesn’t mean that it’s solved the balance part.
So here are my 3 best tips for creating work-life balance
Lower your standards
This sounds like a joke, but it’s really not.
You know how with your first kid you worry about baby proofing EVERYTHING but with the second you just kind of resort to screaming “EH! Don’t touch that!”?
Or how the first day of school you pack your kid a well-rounded lunch with veggies and fruit and little funny shaped sandwich and love letter on the napkin, and the last day you pour some cereal and put a juice box in there?
We lower our parenting standards. All. The. Time. So take a breath, make a list of your top priorities, and let everything else go.
Do what you can, delegate what you can’t
Y’all. I SUCK at housekeeping. There is a wad of pet hair (I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, so yes, it is mystery pet hair) that has been sitting in the living room corner for 2 weeks. I see it when I watch tv. I see it when I walk to go to the bathroom. I see it. I secretly hope my husband will grab it but I know he won’t. But that’s ok. Why? Because of housekeepers, that’s why.
$100 bucks a month is all it takes to regain a little bit of your sanity. I have a whole blog about why you should seriously invest in a housekeeper.
You are not any more or less of a parent based on the number of hours you spend cleaning or what face you make when your kids eat off the floor (and if you don’t let your kids eat off the floor, refer back to number 1).
And it’s not just cleaning that you can delegate. What about delegating some stuff to your partner. My husband has taken over morning routine duty with the kids so that I can focus on getting up and being to work early, which helps start my day off right.
You can send your dirty laundry out for someone else to wash and fold, you can buy meal plans, you can click list your groceries. There are a million ways to take some things off of your plate.
Even with your business, you can delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy or are taking to many hours. Finances, marketing, blogging. All these things can be delegated!
Set up good boundaries, even for yourself
Boundaries are hard work, especially if you are starting from the ground up. But they are worth it in the long run. They protect you from draining people, needy clients, and prevent you from burning out.
Boundaries don’t have to be complicated! Some of my boundaries are that I don’t work in business from 5 pm to 8 pm. This gives me time to make dinner, spend time with my family, and get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour. I only let my daily to-do list include 15 tasks. Anything more needs to be delegated or moved to a later date. I will not attend more than 3 non-work related social functions a month. I know that my introvert self will be miserable and peopled out if I overdo it.
These boundaries help protect my work-life balance from both sides.