We hear we should strive for work-life balance:
WHAT IS WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
HOW DO I ACHIEVE OR “GET” IT????
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN I ACHIEVE IT?
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
To me, the concept of
balance implies an even, steady pressure from both or all sides. On a
teeter-totter, or a balance beam, when two things have the same weight,
they are level. I don’t think that relates to real life!
Work pressures often vary
and change from day to day. Home issues frequently by the moment. One
morning the kitchen floor is clean, the next moment it’s got food
crumbs and muddy footprints. Most time the toilet works, but sometimes
it’s clogged up. Kids get sick frequently, and then work and sleep may
To expect that you can have
everything balanced or under control all the time is an unrealistic
expectation that sets women up to feel incompetent and overwhelmed. There is no balance!!!!!!!
I call it work-life juggling. The
balls are flying; work, home responsibilities, family, relationships.
It is much more likely that balls will fly out of control, and some will
drop on the floor, than it is to expect balance.
Good juggling requires a couple of important elements. You need to have priorities
(and please put yourself on that list). One example many women
struggle with, is it more important to play with the kids, or more
important to have a clean house? Where do work and family sit on the
Another critical component
of juggling is mental and physical flexibility. Learning to let go old
choices and priorities is difficult. It may be hard to say, “that
report can be late (let that ball drop), because I’m choosing to go to a
dance recital”. It maybe uncomfortable to leave the dishes in the sink
to play with the baby. It’s about having priorities and finding ways
to help you stay true to your values and goals. (I promise the dishes
will wait for you, right there where you left them).
Psychotherapy can help you with these juggling skills.