Sale PSA: A pinstripe power blazer from Theory, now 40% off, Fenty pointy toe creepers, now 20% off, laser cut out Manolo Carolyn heels, now $400, an adorable Madewell jumpsuit I’ve been eyeing for some time now up to 30% off with code STAYCOZY, and a cashmere funnelneck pullover sweater from Vince, now 60% off.
Work/life balance is a topic that I’ve thought about for years and have never had the guts to write about. Even now I feel strange posting about it. Because what do I really know? I keep changing how I feel and think about this topic and likely even a year from now I’ll be in a different place. But for today I wanted to share my thoughts on work/life balance, about six months into my second baby and a little over two years into my first one.
Here is a summary of what my work life has been like since having children:
- 6 month mark (after baby #1 is born): Leave job
- 1 Year: Baby is 1, so decide well I should either go back to work or just go for the second since I’m already out of the game. What to do, what to do? Agonize.
- 1 Year + some months: Pregnant with #2
- 2 Years: Give birth to #2. Shortly after, start to work (very) part-time from home
And here is my current work/life situation: Two children at home, a toddler about two and half years and a baby about six months, neither which are in school. A full time nanny who watches one and I cover the other (we swap off who has who on a casual basis. I love my nanny. She is great). A part time job which I do from home, usually for an hour during the day and then the rest after the kids bedtime. Occasionally I have a deadline and then really have to rush and stay up late after everybody has gone to bed.
How do I feel about my situation? Well, first off – I know that I’m enormously fortunate to even have a nanny. And to have the choice to stay home. So there’s that. And I feel happy that I have a job that I enjoy, that offers me enormous flexibility to be with my children when and where I want. And I can do it in pajamas.
But still, even after all that – I just feel so-so. I often feel like I’m getting the crap end of things. Of life, and of the gender balance. At times, I am very frustrated.
I write this not to show you all how ungrateful I am (hmm) but to be honest that even in a good situation, in what many would see as a privileged situation…as a woman with young children…there are often times that I feel like life kind of sucks. I basically feel like a slave to my kids (and sometimes my husband, and my house, which perpetually needs cleaning). I mean, I had barely finished breastfeeding number one when I was already pregnant with number two! And now I’m doing it all over again! Will my body ever be completely mine again? My time? Will I ever be able to sit down and watch a one hour TV show without be subsumed by guilt about all the stuff that I have to do which is currently being neglected? And isn’t it ridiculous that I’m complaining about all of this? I mean, nobody forced me to have two kids, nobody forced me to have them close together. This was my choice.
I have the feeling that many women out there might feel somewhat similar. And so now I come around to what my current view is on work/life balance, at this moment in my life. That my children are young, and needy, and they require a certain amount of my time, and so thus other parts of myself are just going to suffer. My work, my personal life and occasionally my sanity. I’ll try my best to see the upside, and usually I do…but for the times that I don’t, I try to accept that this is part of the struggle (see this post).
So as a summary: work/life balance not great, but not terrible, and I hope it will get better each week, each month, each year.
Earlier this year I wrote down some of my general (and wardrobe) resolutions in this post. And it seems that this one in particular spoke to a few of you.
Figure out a way to balance my work with personal and family life and not feel guilty about neglecting whatever I’m not focusing on at the current moment.
I think that’s a good ideal to strive towards…if not the first part then at least the last. No guilt. Doesn’t the world already punish us enough as it is as women? So let’s take it easy on ourselves and each other.
What is your work life balance currently like? What are you currently working with? And how are you managing?