It’s been way too long since I last wrote, primarily because the last 6 weeks have just been a whirlwind. I am back in work roughly 10 weeks (but who is counting) and in the time we have had 1 stomach bug, one vomiting bug, countless colds and coughs and one particularly bad virus.
At the same time I have faced a pre-busy season in work. I am an auditor by trade, so I work in a very male dominated industry. There are not many mommas at my level right now (actually I am the only one at my level but there are a few above and below). To put it into perspective, the department has 200 people, so it’s not a small department!
Finding the right work life balance is so hard! Before my little one arrived, I could easily do on average 12 hour days, ramping that up in busier periods and working my weekends. But I have had a major shift in priorities. I now not only have mothers guilt but guilt I let my team down in work too! I am in charge if pickups from Creche. So I go in early and leave early. If I miss a pick up as I have late meetings, the guilt I feel is just awful. And it’s not just that, it’s that I miss my little one.
I was hoping to hold off writing this post until I had all the answers, until I had achieved the perfect balance and I feel I could provide people with great advice. But the reality is, there is no perfect balance.
I have been stressing over trying to get this balance right, but in the last two weeks I have come to the conclusion that you can’t really have it all. But the important thing is to know what you need to prioritise at different times.
When I feel the guilt, I try and ask myself what will make me happy. Will attending this meeting make me happy, will getting to creche make me happy, will meeting my deadline make me happy? A happy momma is a happy family. A happy worker is a more productive worker. So what will really make me happy????
It changes and flexes every day. But that’s ok too. Achieving things in work is important, but so is being there when your baby needs you.
Some things I have done that help me:
1) Get a cleaner – you have enough to be doing working and looking after a family, so getting help with the big cleaning jobs is so important
2) be disciplined – I block off my calendar when I am due to go, to avoid meetings going into it.
3) when you feel the guilt, check in and see what makes you happy
4) when you see issues coming up, raise them early, you know when things will become unmanageable!
Finally remember, we are all human, and we are doing our best. That’s all we can do!