Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Having It All

When I hear the phrase “work-life balance”, I kinda chuckle. It seems to be this elusive thing that everyone wants (and some claim to have), but for me it’s a daily work in progress.

Years ago, I worked for a big corporation – and they espoused the merits of the work-life balance. (Despite the references to it in their HR manual, they actually didn’t do much to promote it… but that’s another story!) At the time, I was married with no kids, so it wasn’t much of an issue for me. Years later, I knew we wanted to start a family and made a move to a smaller company where, I thought, I would be able to have some work flexibility. And I did – for about two years – until my department suddenly had a new manager… who didn’t have children. 

Yes, that was the death-knell for my coveted work-from-home-two-days-a-week routine. It didn’t make sense to me because I had not missed one deadline, conference call or quarterly goal. In fact, because I worked from home part of the week, I actually worked harder – if only to prove that I could do it and not let my job slide. Yet, because of one person’s closed-mindedness, I lost my work-life balance. Oh, how I enjoyed being home with my little girl… it made me feel like I was raising her, not her daycare. I cherished those two weekdays, even if it was challenging to get work done; I’d gladly work into the night (after her bedtime) to finish my tasks.

Fast-forward two years, and another baby, later. Now, I can say with all honesty that I have it all – time at home with my kids, a wonderfully fulfilling career… and a dirty house and bags under my eyes! LOL 

I’m truly blessed to be able to spend so much time with my kids and still do what I love, but there will always be trade-offs. The bags under my eyes can be camouflaged, the crumbs on my floor and dust on my furniture can be (eventually!) vacuumed, but my kids won’t be kids forever. So, yes, I feel like I have it all. And, so can you – if you don’t sweat the small stuff. :)

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