I think everyone, parent or not, struggles with a work/life balance. There seems to be a new article everyday on my Facebook or Pinterest feed either chronicling the problem or claiming to have the magic formula to solve it. The strange convergence of my passions, what brings me bliss, leads me to some less conventional problems and benefits and to a dearth of articles that are actually helpful to my life and schedule when trying to get on top of everything or rearranging the work/life balance. Why is it so tricky? Well… let’s talk about all the categories I fall into… sort of… Are you a stay at home mom?
Yes. I spend most days with my little one and I love the opportunities I have to help him learn and watch him grow. We have weighed pros and cons and decided against daycare for at least the first 18 months of his life. We are trying to keep his exposure to technology during that time relatively low as well, focusing on books and active play, and music. (Not saying everyone should do this… good for me, maybe not for you…) But… my husband is home two days during the work week as well as Sundays, and we have a pretty egalitarian marriage as far as housework and homemaking. We have very different strengths, but the “homelife” is not the responsibility of one person or the other and he is also very active in filling our son’s days and raising him when he is home. And I am also bringing in income for our family.
Oh, so are you a work at home mom?
Well… sort of. I do a lot of work at home. My husband and I write or cut scripts when our son is having independent play time or when nap times happen. I prep tutoring material at home and answer so many emails you’d think that was my chief job description. I read plays, I memorize lines during walks, I do Skype meetings while babywearing. But I also do a lot of work outside the home. So you work part time?
That’s a good description. I do leave the house for work, usually when my husband is home to watch the baby- or right when he gets off work and we do a “baby swap” kissing each other and swapping cars or carseats before heading our opposite directions. It’s a strange life as a freelancer because some weeks I work as little as 2 hours outside the home and others I can work 40-50. Oh, and some of that time outside the house I also bring my son with me…
So because of my unique kind of situation… there are NO helpful “10 ways to reorganize your day” type of articles. We have to kind of play jazz and improvise as we go and know that we will screw up the balance sometimes and pare away what isn’t working and learn from our mistakes. Maybe a few years down the road, once I have the benefit of hindsight, I will be blogging to you a list of things that have worked for us, and some other mom or dad who does not quite fit one of the normal categories of work vs. homelike will benefit from my experience. Until then, I’d love to hear if you’ve dealt with this unique situation, or if you’re slogging through it with me. Maybe someone will benefit just from hearing there are others who break the usual labels and molds. Or maybe you don’t have a crazy job combo but you want to share what you think are some universal tips that might help?
Happy weekend everyone.