Sunday, January 24, 2021

Juggling Motherhood

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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 be disrupted. 

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 priority list?

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. 

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