Hello to all of Lexie’s followers and a big thank you to Lexie for having me as a guest blogger! My name is Lindsey and I blog over at www.delicatelybalancinglife.com. I’ve been a wife for 17+ years, but a mom for just six short months! I spent my 20’s and most of my 30’s focused on my career as a law firm administrator, so when my husband and I decided to FINALLY turn our party of two into a family of three, I knew one thing for sure: I wasn’t going to let all I had worked so hard to build fall by the wayside in the name of motherhood. I had built a reputation as a hard working go-getter and there was no way that I was going to be seen as anything less than that just because I was a mom!
So, how does a career-focused woman add-on the title of mother without failing at both? Here are a few things I did to try to balance success at work and home.
Communicate And Partner With Your Boss
It was very important to me that my boss was on board from day 1, so I did what almost nobody does: I told her that my husband and I were thinking about starting a family but that I wanted the timing to be right for the firm; so I essentially asked her for her permission to have a baby. Yes, of course, I know that it would have been against the law for her to say anything other than “yes, of course, go have a baby,” but I knew that she would appreciate that I partnered with her and thereby partnered with my firm, in making this big decision. So, when she said yes, it was a huge relief to know I wouldn’t be surprising her with our baby news when I was only five months or so from going out on leave. It took quite a few months for us to get pregnant, but when we finally did, my boss was very excited and I wasn’t at all nervous about telling her because I already knew she was on board. This was a huge relief, as it allowed us to spend 9+ months having conversations about how we would cover my leave. Throughout my entire pregnancy, my boss told me that she would do whatever she could to help me feel like I was balancing my work and home life; she had friends that felt like a failure at both because they couldn’t really give either their all, so it was important to her that I not feel that way.
Flex Your Schedule When You Can
Now that I’ve had our daughter and am back at work, full-time, one of the adjustments I’ve made to balance my home/work life is to adjust my hours on the days when I’m not traveling, so that I go in early (husband does drop offs) and I leave by 4:00, so that I can pick our daughter up from whomever is caring for her that day and we have a couple of solid family hours to spend together before she goes off to bed. And once she goes to bed, my husband and I get a couple hours together to catch up on life.
Be a Bad-Ass
When I cross the threshold of my office, I am a bad-ass Director of Operations who negotiates off space leases, manages build-outs, hires/counsels/fires employees and manages the overall daily operations of my firm. When colleagues as me about my daughter, I say “she is fabulous, we are really enjoying her” and then I promptly turn the conversation back to work. In the workplace, it is important to be seen as someone who is focused on my job. If I gush over my daughter and spend five minutes rattling on about her latest achievements, I feel that it sends a message that I am easily drawn back to my mom-life when I need to be focused on my job. Similarly, I’ve had co-workers greet me with “hi, beautiful mama” and I quickly strike up a conversation about work without acknowledging their greeting. At work, I am a worker, not a mom.
Similarly, when I cross the threshold of my house, I am a bad-ass wife and mom, who is silly, playful and focused on my husband and daughter and what they need from me.
Admittedly, these worlds do collide periodically, and I get work calls and home and home calls at work, but I try really hard to keep them separate.
Graciously Accept Assistance
I love to help others but I do not love to have others help me! Truthfully, I see accepting help as weak, but this is something I am working on because it makes people feel good when they can help their loved ones and we can all use a little help now and then! So, when someone offers to bring a meal, or watch your little, look them in the eye, thank them profusely and graciously accept their offer!
Bribe Your Kid To Not Achieve Milestones When You’re At Work
If only bribery worked….right!?!?!!Alas, it does not! So, instead, know that while your little may crawl for the first time when she is at grandma’s or say dog for the first time when she is home alone with daddy, and that it is OK for this to happen and that there will be plenty more firsts that you will be there for. Easier said than done, I know, but life doesn’t happen on our timeframes, so just accept it for what it is and be happy that grandma got to be there for her grandbaby’s first official crawl and make sure she got it on video!
Give Up What You Can
I realize that this is counter-intuitive to a post about having it all, but take inventory of your daily tasks and see what you can give up, or what can be adjusted to allow for more time at work or home. For me, this meant moving my nail appointments to the lunch hour and, for now, giving up my gym membership and working out at home, when I can fit it in. There will be a time when getting away for an hour on the weekend for a little pampering feels right, but for now, I don’t want my valuable weekend hours spent away from my family.
While it isn’t possible to perfectly balance your work and home life, it is possible to do it well enough that neither truly suffers. With thoughtful focus, you can be a rockstar career-person and parent!
Thank you so much, Lindsey for guest blogging! Head on over to Lindsey’s blog www.delicatelybalancinglife.com to see Lindsey’s take on life, parenthood, food, wine, travel, and everything in between. You can also check out my post on her blog – How to Deal with Working Parent Jealousy.
This post linked on: