The Myth Of Work Life Balance
I think like most mums (or parents) ever since having my son there has one thing that I have been striving for since I saw those lines. The perfect work life balance.
I have heard about this thing, and I have heard people claim to achieve it. Yet, there are days when it just feels like an impossible dream.
Live to work
There have been many days, even before I had my son where it feels like my sole purpose in life is to work. It’s like that is what I was born to do. However, before having my son it bothered me, but it was bearable. I didn’t like it, but to be honest if I wasn’t at work I would most likely be doing housework, going out, or relaxing. I have never been one to have loads of hobbies or responsibilities, that was until I had my son.
However, now I do have my son and I have found myself with something which holds just as much (if not more) responsibility than work, I feel like there is a constant battle going on. A battle which ultimately if it really came down to it, my son would win. I can no longer live to work.
The problem with this, well no work means no money. Hence, the battle.
More than just money
To be fair, I do get more out of work than just money. Deep down, away from the early starts and late finishes, the office politics and bosses on a power trip, the never-ending stress and unrealistic targets, and the constantly spending large amounts of time imagining I was on a beach somewhere, I do actually enjoy working.
I get satisfaction from reaching targets and achieving goals, sometimes it is nice to wear real clothes and talk to adults about grown up stuff, it’s nice to be able to actually sit down and eat a meal or go to the toilet in peace. Silence. There have been many times when I have actually been pleased to have an excuse to leave the chaos at home and escape to work.
Still, there have been other times when going to work has broken my heart. It’s not always an escape, some days going to work has been heard.
My baby needs me
There have been days when I have been so close to calling in sick or quitting because my baby needs me. He is ill, having an off day, I haven’t seen much of him, it’s a special day, he has asked to stay home with me, etc.
There has been days when we have both practically been in tears because we don’t want me to go to work. It’s tough because your can’t let them see your upset. You can’t let them know that your heart is breaking. It is tough. It’s times like this where your really wonder if work is worth it. You have gone beyond money and logic, it is now a primal biological need to protect your child.
I need to work for my child
Ultimately, we work to provide for our families, as much as our children may need and want us home, they need a roof over their head and food in their tummies. That is why the ultimate motivation for going to work, enough money to look after our families.
Yes, we get a lot of other things from work as I mentioned earlier. To be fair, children get a lot from seeing us go to work as well.
The main thing is, working allows us to miss our children. I have found that I appreciate the time I do have with my son a whole lot more because I am at work and he goes to childcare. Family time is extra special because we do not get a lot of it.
There is another reason that work it important to me, and it is something I try not to think too much about, but I know it is there as I know parents further along than me. It’s the knowledge that as my son gets older, he will need me less. Work has given me another purpose other than mum and as my son grows up and needs me less, work I am certain will keep me busy.
Is their such a thing as a work life balance?
I am sure there is, I am not sure I have achieved it yet. However, I think (hope) as children get older and more independent it is probably slightly easier to achieve. I spend so much time running around trying to organise myself, my son, and sometimes even my husband I feel like I just never stop. The current day hasn’t even ended, and I am planning for the next day.
The only way I can cope is by trying to stay one step ahead and write everything down. If I have not got it written down somewhere then it’s not happening.
Still, I feel like the older my son is getting, the better I am at organising and juggling everything that is going on in our lives.