A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Finding balance

on July 3, 2014

Last night, I was the mentor for a career development talk for college students interested in my career field. Several of them had questions about how I find work-life balance, which seemed like such a huge question for such young kids (19-20 year olds) and yet I’m glad they’re thinking about it and flattered that they think I might know how to find it.

I think the most important thing is to forgive ourselves when we don’t keep things in balance every day. I don’t know that I can really keep all of my balls equally in the air every day. Some days, work takes a bigger chunk of my attention and I try to balance those with times where my family gets more of my attention. I’m only one person, so I can’t possibly do all the things well every day. As women we can be hard on ourselves and have such super-human expectations for what balance should look like and that isn’t fair (and certainly isn’t helpful or kind!). I try to check in with myself every week and make sure I feel like all of the things on my list of priorities (my marriage, my son, my health, my job, my sanity) have at least gotten some quality time that week. Whichever area is falling behind is the one that gets more attention next week. Progress, not perfection is key, right?

As I was explaining this, I found myself walking through some of the ways I find balance during the week.

Tuesday morning, I had a 4-5 mile run to do for my half marathon training plan (health & sanity – check!). Doing that run means I miss the sweet moment when O first wakes up, but I balanced that picking him some flowers while I was out running. He took his lovely little flowers to preschool with him because he was so enchanted by them. 🙂 A little thing, but one that helped me feel like I got a bit of a check mark in the mom column even if that run took away some of my precious weekday mom time.

Flowers picked for O while out on my run

Flowers picked for O while out on my run

Wednesday, I drove from work out to West Omaha to pick up O and meet Darrell for dinner at Village Inn. I ate with them, consciously not playing on my phone like I normally do so that I could be fully there in that moment. I left a little early to head back into town to give the talk about work-life balance (hah!) and after that talk, headed back out to West Omaha to hit the gym to get in the speed work on the schedule for the day. I debated skipping the gym (it was after 9 when I got there) and going home to get a little extra time with Darrell instead, but he was working at home that night and we have a three day weekend of family time coming, so I decided for the marriage part of my pie, it would be balanced over the week more so than this day. I did, however, speed up my time getting home by combining my post run stretching with stopping for gas on the way home. I’m sure the gas station attendant enjoyed watching my gyrations at the pump, but it saved a couple of minutes at the gym and got me home faster.

Today, I had Darrell do daycare drop off so I could come into work early. Coming to work early means I can leave early to get to O’s school parade at 3 (mom check!)

Tomorrow night, I’m planning on a lovely date night at home with hubby to watch the fireworks from our deck with a drink (marriage check!) and possibly another round of Ticket to Ride. 🙂

Game night!

Game night!

Yes, it requires a fair amount of scheduling on the weekdays to keep all of the balls in the air, but it works most days. The most important thing, I think, is to be kind and honest with ourselves about what is important to us and then to look at how often those things are really showing up on our “to do” lists. I got a big laugh in my little talk when I confessed to them that I had to put “figure out how to date” on my to-do list back in fall 2006 when I realized I’d been so busy with school for so long that I had let my personal life fall off of my “to do” list and lost that skill set. I’m very grateful I took that time to really look at what I wanted and how that matched up with what I was actually doing. After all, that one resulted in finding my lovely husband. 🙂

Everyone have a safe and happy Fourth of July! How do you find balance in your life?

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4 responses to “Finding balance

  1. Kristin says:

    Have a great 4th!! You’re beautiful and such a hard worker!! XOXO!

  2. Great post!! I love how you picked flowers for O and he loved them so much he took them to preschool with him :0)

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