Work/Life Balance? Are you serious?

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Work/life balance is about learning to accept that, at times, one gets more than the other—and that’s okay. Work/life balance is the unicorn of the working woman’s world. Everyone knows it is impossible to get, but there is a secret place in our minds that strives to get it, anyway. You read about it, knowing in your heart that it’s not going to apply to your life and you every day, but you hope so. The question isn’t, “How do I get work/life balance?” The real question is, “What exactly is work/life balance?”

Does it mean giving both work and your personal life the same amount of time, energy, thought, and emotions? Could it mean, like recent articles have explained, the balance comes in knowing that sometimes you give more time to work, but sometimes you give more time to your family life? Balancing it all isn’t so balanced, so get comfortable with that ebb and flow so that, regardless of which one you’re focusing on right now, neither makes you feel burned out or guilty for not being with the other.

If it is the “busy season” at your workplace, and the hours you work go far beyond the normal or even the overtime of a work week, then, during this time, you’re at work more than home. Accept it. Work within it, and be okay with it. Once you do that, then the small amount of time you are at home will mean so much to you. You won’t waste time worrying about how clean everything is or if the laundry is all finished. You’ll take this time to talk to the loved ones who are in your home. Call a friend to say, “Hello.” When it’s not busy season, and you’re just working normal hours, you get home in time to run errands, cook a nice meal, and watch TV with your loved ones. Be alright with that, too. It will never really balance itself out, but the sooner you accept that truth, the better you will be with the idea of work/life balance.

Finding balance is all about moderation, of course, but there are times when moderation can’t be controlled. It is at those times when you have to accept the current movement of your life and not feel guilty about it. Most women want to believe work/life balance is possible. There are days, moments, and even seasons when it is balanced. But for the most part, one is always getting a little more than the other. Maybe that’s the balance: knowing that at times, it won’t be balanced.