If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard work/life balance since I started Undercover Mum I’d be a millionaire. Needless to say it’s been impossible to ignore and for good reason. It’s time I shared with you what I really think about work/life balance.
I’ve come to realise that feeling a sense of balance at home and at work is super important for working parents. Especially working mums.
Simultaneously feeling personal and professional fulfilment and satisfaction, with a thriving family and career/business, is the holy grail of being a working mum.
This means not having to make sacrifices in one area of your life in order to achieve success in another. This is essentially why working mums want to have it all. To experience career/business success, fulfillment as a mum, meaningful relationships and of course some time for themselves.
The reason I’ve been resisting talking about work/life balance is because the word balance brings to my mind a set of scales with work on one side and life on the other. In order for these scales to balance, one’s time and energy has to be spread evenly across work and life. I’m also not a fan of the ‘/’ between work and life as if you can only have one or the other.
Most of the time work/life balance feels elusive and unattainable for most working mums. Sometimes we even feel selfish and greedy for wanting to have it all.
So I prefer to use the term work life mix. The right mix of career &/ business, family, fun, health etc. so you can feel a sense of balance and fulfillment. Whatever matters to you should be in your mix. In whatever quantities bring you the most satisfaction as a working mum.
If you have the right mix you’ll know. Life will feel relatively easy and enjoyable most of the time.
Without the right mix for you and your family you’ll feel weighed down by responsibilities and overwhelmed by your choices. The doubts and guilt about whether you really can have it all will start to creep in and become a regular feature in your life.
Mix is not static either. It can change over time depending on your situation. Your work life mix will likely change whenever your work life goals change.
The secret to having it all is mix, not balance.
Here’s why work life mix really matters though. If you focus on one part of your life you’re not experiencing a full life. Sadly the parts you neglect may not be salvageable later.
A common example is when people focus on their career in pursuit of the next promotion at the expense of their health and relationships. Often by the time they’ve achieved that goal their relationships and health have fallen into disrepair.
The alternative to having it all is to sacrifice other aspects of your life that you value and are important to you, such as family and health. Followed by feelings of resentment and regret.
So yes, having it all and feeling a sense of balance matters because the alternative isn’t worth thinking about.
This is why it’s important to make time for everything that matters to you.
What’s even more important to remember is that there’s no one way to be a good working mum. There’s a million different ways!
If you’re interested in creating your ideal work life mix, find out how I can help you find your way.