Work/Life balance…it’s like a unicorn we are all hoping to find. For me in particular it’s managing a career, a husband, 2 children, a dog, and trying to find just a little time to take care of myself in order to get this third child I’m growing to full-term. It’s not easy, for anyone, and we all have our own challenges and priorities and what feels like a million balls in the air at any given time. But it is doable, you just have to find what works for you.
Luckily for me I’m employed by a super awesome company that understands that my family comes first. This is a big thing for me. When I’m old and gray (or rather older and grayer – speaking of which I need to make a hair appointment), I don’t want to be remembered for putting together a great media buy or getting 3rd quarter closed out on time. I want my husband and kids to have wonderful memories of times we spent together. I hope my children say they had a happy childhood and, if I’m really fortunate, they will say that I was a great mom. While work fills my days now, it won’t when I’m retired (that is if I ever get to retire, I’m currently on the cat-food plan – just kidding) and then I hope that I’ve done a decent enough job raising these little humans that they’ll want to spend time with their mother and father, and will entrust me to care for their children as well.
Don’t get me wrong, my work is very important to me. I absolutely love my job with all of my heart, and these people that I get to spend each day with...well, there aren’t words to describe how truly amazing they are. Life’s too short to not like what you do; I’ve been there, it wasn’t fun. And when you’re unhappy at work, it carries over to home. It’s stressful, and not the good kind of stress either. It’s hard on spouses, it’s hard on children, and it’s hard on friendships – because trust me, no one wants to hear you complain. I spend far more time at work each week than I get to spend with my kids (while they’re awake, of course), and if I’m going to do that day in and day out, you better believe it’s going to be something that I love doing with people that make it easy to come to work each day with a smile on my face.
I’m well aware that having a rewarding career and a family makes it hard to be in two places at once. I’m going to miss things, I know that. But when I’m present, I really try hard to actually “be present.” You won’t find me on my phone much at home, half of the time I don’t even know where it is. There are situations where I do need to take work home, but it can wait until the kids are in bed. It’s very hard in this day and age to actually disconnect, but I try my best. I don’t check work email unless it’s necessary, and I find that compartmentalization helps keep me happy…and less stressed, which is better for everyone involved.
I like to think that I have a good grasp on work/life balance, and a large part of that is thanks to Bucket. Kids get sick, there are school parties to attend, people we love pass away, and there are places we need to be – sometimes between 8 and 5. But most of the time work can wait, or someone else can cover you…and good employees – well they’ll more than make up for it when they return, because as their employer you’ve cultivated an environment where they feel safe and valuable, and that’s priceless.