I think we all know by now the word ‘balance’ is kind of like a unicorn, ie: I don’t think it actually exists. When I first started blogging back in 2014 I loved the idea of working from home because I thought “this is great! one day I can be a stay at home mom AND still work!”
While there are definitely benefits to working from home (like I get to see Shiloh all the time throughout the day + my schedule is flexible) it’s also way more challenging to balance my work life with my personal life. I’ve really tried to make it a goal this year to have more quality time with Shiloh and clear boundary lines between work life and family time. This is something I still struggle with for sure but I’ve picked up a few helpful tips along the way that I wanted to share with you guys today!
tip #1: block off time on calendar
I typically work 8-5:30ish Monday – Friday. But this year I decided I wanted to pick one block of time during the work week to specifically dedicate to Shiloh. There are random times throughout my week where I’ll decide to go to the playground with Shiloh & friends or just hang out in her playroom with her…but I wanted something on my calendar where I knew every week at this time, I’m not working. I’m with Shiloh. That way, I wasn’t trying to multitask or stressing about not working. For me, that dedicated time is Tuesday mornings. Shiloh has gymnastics at 10 so I usually get her up and dressed Tuesday mornings, we eat breakfast together, I take her to gymnastics and then after we night go to lunch or the toy store depending on the day! I try and be really conscious during this ‘shiloh time’ to not be on my phone at all and be 100% WITH her. It’s our special time together and we both look forward to it every week! Which brings me to my next point…
tip #2: the art of single-tasking
We all think multi-tasking is the greatest skill to be admired when in reality…you’re actually accomplishing nothing by thinking you’re accomplishing everything at once haha. Something that has helped me draw boundary lines between work and personal life is when I am with Shiloh or Michael or friends / family…I try and not have my phone out. I know this goes against the ‘how to boost your engagement on IG’ strategy where people seem to be IG storying every second of their life…but for me, I’d rather prioritize my relationships than my IG story views. So if you’re struggling to prioritize relationships and your personal life…go for a walk with a friend and leave your phone at home. Or when you’re at dinner with your mom, don’t pull your phone out of your purse. Be ALL in with whatever you are doing.
Same goes for working! When you are answering e-mails or on a call, as best as you can, be fully present. Try not to kind of be playing a card game with your toddler while on a conference call. Know the task at hand and give it 100%.
When I’m in Shiloh’s playroom, I try and plug my phone in downstairs and don’t even bring it in the playroom because I know i’ll be tempted to answer texts or e-mails while I’m in there with her.
tip #3: remember, there are 7 days in a week
oftentimes I struggle with making enough time for family + friendships because i get stuck in this mindset of ‘I have too much to do! i can’t go to the park today’ or whatever it might be. a lot of times, that’s valid. but being an enneagram 3 i often think i need to do ALL the things on my to-do list right this second before I can do anything else! if you’re struggling to prioritize your personal life – self-care + relationships…look at your to-do list at the beginning of the week and know it’s not your to-do list for MONDAY necessarily. I now have a running to-do list with the week’s date range at the top of it so I know…I need to get all of these things done before end of the week. Not necessarily end of the day. Be okay with having some items on your to-do list not checked off at the end of the day and choose to prioritize friendships + family instead. Your to-do list items will still be there tomorrow!
tip #4: drawing clear boundary lines
This is something I’m still working on but ever since Shiloh turned 2 (aka wasn’t a baby anymore haha) I decided working all hours of the day wasn’t really feasible or something I wanted to do anymore. I wanted to establish a routine where I didn’t allow myself to work before 8am or after 5:30pm (again…I don’t nail this every day but I’m trying). That way once 5pm rolls around…there’s no doubt in my mind that I need to start wrapping up for the day and transition to family time. It’s also been helpful for me to have a little ‘closing time’ routine around 5:30 where I pick up my office, finish up any last minute projects, and maybe do a quick ‘brain dump’ of what I need to get done the next day. Then I can close my office doors and be fully present with my family. If you don’t have clear start & end times with work…it’ll be 6pm and you’ll be cooking dinner and answering e-mails and getting annoyed with your kids or husband who need you haha. Boundaries help that.
Any other working mamas out there…what are some of your tips for work life balance? This is something i’m still growing in + working on every single day so I would love to hear your tips!
Thanks for reading!