Balancing work and life is something I’m still trying to figure out. There never seems to be enough time in the day, as the saying goes.
“I remember a time when I used to come home from work and get bored”
The weekdays are spent at work with the evenings in pretty much a solid routine of dinner, bath, quality time and bed and then the weekends are spent catching up with chores around the house, seeing family and friends or spending time together as a family and then not forgetting trying to fit in a hobby like blogging!
I know I could spend more time on myself, with my partner, with my son and with family and friends, but where do we find that balance? How do we balance it all?
“Working and being a mom is like having two jobs, because you work all day and then come home and work again”
I remember a time when I used to come home from work and get bored (I know?!) with not having much to do apart from having dinner, having a shower and doing a little clean. That all changes when you have a baby and it only gets worse as they get older. There is no such thing as getting bored as they keep you occupied from the moment they’re awake to the moment they go to sleep.
I’ve never been a stay at home mom (only when I was on maternity leave) and you know what…it’s damn hard, so I have full respect for moms who look after their children 24/7. I actually believe going to work is (kind of) a break, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier.
Working and being a mom is like having two jobs, because you work all day and then come home and work again, and I don’t mean just looking after your child, it’s the extra washing, extra cleaning, having to feed and bath not just yourself, but another person within only a few hours. While I’ve sat here writing this blog, my son has tipped a bag of crisps everywhere and is now crushing them with his feet into the floor…when I’ve just cleaned. We all know it’s exhausting, which is why it’s so important to have a healthy work-life balance.
Below are some tips to help you balance work and life and to be honest I to need to take a leaf out of my own book and take some of the below tips on board.
Take time out for yourself
Spending time on your own or doing something you enjoy is so important. We all need time to ourself, regardless if you work or don’t work. Taking care of another human being who relies on you for literally everything can feel like your independence has been taken away. You don’t want to ‘lose’ yourself so make sure you take a bubble bath, get your hair and nails done, see a friend or just go for a drive. You can watch your favourite programme on TV anytime or catch up with Instagram later. Self care speaks for itself. Care for yourself.
Get yourself a diary
I love using a diary. Last year I used my calendar on my phone, but it didn’t feel quite as effective as using a physical diary that I can write in. A diary can be used anyway you like. I use mine for appointments, reminders, bills etc. But you could use it to actually write down your thoughts or how you’ve felt that day. Or even ‘book in’ your self-care time and book in time to see friends and family. That way you keep a better track of that balance and know when you last did something.
Get on top of your finances
Life is hard as it is. Know how much you’ve got coming in and how much you’ve got going out so you can spend the rest of the month planning meals out, birthdays, that trip to the hairdressers or that holiday you want to save for. It seems like one of those things you don’t really need to do for a work-life balance, however it will help in the long run. If you know you have £100 extra cash to spend that month then you can work on planning to do something with it (if you like). Have a read of a previous blog I wrote about ways to save money here.
This might seem a bit silly, and I’m not saying set a timer for the more important things like family time, but what I mean by this is if you need to give the house a clean of an evening set yourself a timer of, let’s say 30 minutes, this way you don’t burn yourself out or get fed up of it, after all it’s a daily job and let’s face it when you’ve been at work all day, you just can’t be arsed…or perhaps thats just me?!. Once that time is up. Stop. Or set a timer when you’re taking a bubble bath, like an hour so you can work on other things, but you’ve still managed to take some time out.
Try and focus on one thing at a time
There’s nothing worse than spinning too many plates, it’s stressful and it can make you forget things. Focussing on one thing at a time may seem impossible in some scenarios, like cooking the dinner while trying to entertain a 2 year old (or is that just me…again?!). But when you’re at work focus solely on that, I’m not saying turn your phone off from the outside world, but engage in conversation with your colleagues, do something above and beyond to make you feel good, and then when your at home focus on spending time doing the things you love if that’s blogging, playing with your children, decorating, cooking, the list goes on, but try to switch off to help you get that balance.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I’m still trying to figure out a more healthy work-life balance, but I do think this takes time, and with a toddler who can switch personalities within a second, sometimes you have to change up that balance to suit them. It’s not easy, but I hope some of these tips come in handy for someone.
Let me know what you do for a healthy work-life balance?