Are you a career mom who is trying to find balance? You want to hold it all together but things are starting to fall apart. You may be noticing that your kids are in trouble, your relationship is suffering, you haven’t had sex in months, your weight is creeping up, or work is starting to become a chore and nothing is going right. How can you possibly balance everything without going a little insane?
In my humble opinion I believe that work-life balance is a myth. Want to know why?
- As a career-woman, you have not only invested a tremendous amount of time and energy in your education, but also in garnering the experience you need to excel and win in your career. You are contributing value to society and are passionate about making a difference in the lives of the people and businesses you serve.
- As a career woman, you may also have a loving, intimate relationship (or are looking for one) and are now married or in a committed relationship. Balancing career and a relationship (or dating) can be fun and exciting.
- The next progression after career and relationship is kids. There is tremendous joy in getting to know kids and nurturing them. Coupled with this are your beliefs, expectations, dreams and fears about how to confidently shape their lives. You want to be an expert on child development, health, nutrition, parenting, and your child’s unique needs. You are their advocate, advisor, parent and disciplinarian.
- In my experience and in the lives of many of the moms I serve, busy career moms can feel intensely overwhelmed by all of these demands. The constant push to perfection while pretending that everything is fine can be too much for some moms.
- Balance implies that there is equal attention given to all things so that one thing does not outweigh the other. As noble as this concept sounds, this is impossible. When you spend 8 to 12 hours at your job, there is not enough time in the day to spend equal time with your relationship, your family or yourself.
In my conversations with moms they share that it is not the amount of time that matters to them, it is about being fully present for the things that matter the most, even when other things are taking the majority of their time and attention. To effectively do this, you can learn how to “shift gears”.
Imagine if you could shift gears in the moment and be totally present with your kids: listening, problem-solving, letting them know that “in that moment” they are the most important thing in your world. In my experience, kids instantly respond to this shift in attention. Once you have given them the quality time they want and need and you feel complete, then you can shift gears to your business demands and take control of what you need to do there. Knowing how to shift gears “in the moment” is a learned behavior. Done well, it can be the single most powerful tool you can have in your tool belt to be the best career-loving mom out there.
With over 30 years experience as a nurse, life coach, stress management expert and mom, Gerrianne Clare of Family Guidance System has helped hundreds of families live strong, healthy and connected lives.