Work Life Balance is BullshitJun 01, 2022
"Here I am in the conference room trying to do a presentation and this little one is in the bathroom throwing up and I thought Oh My God, what am I doing? I should have canceled or rescheduled - I felt like that was the worst moment of me trying to incorporate my business and being a mom."
I think any parent-entrepreneur has a story very similar to this. We all have that point where we look back and have the deepest regret or even shame of how we failed at balancing our business and our parenting.
I had a whole thing typed up telling you to not let that happen - that we all need balance and that you can never get that time back with your kids. But - that’s all hallmark, cookie cutter, bullshit advice. So I would like to offer you an alternate - lean into it.
You will not be able to find this elusive balance. IT DOES NOT EXIST (any Mean Girl fans out there silently reading that as: the limit doesn’t exist!!??). I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news or maybe the one confirming your gut feeling all along. We are killing ourselves trying to live up to this standard that is not possible. You can not kill it at work, kill it at home, eat a healthy lunch every day, feel like you had quality partner time or friend time, and not be on the verge of a mental breakdown. Something.has.to.give. And the truth is- that for entrepreneurs it is often ourselves, or our families.
Lean into it. Because it is not like you are abandoning your child on the side of the road- you just maybe forgot teacher appreciation week. Or maybe (pre-covid) you pushed your kid onto the school bus with a stuffy nose because you had a big pitch meeting. There are times in my life my business was a top priority. There were times when my family was a top priority. There were times when my marriage, or my friendships, or my mental health was a top priority. It is not all equal. It is seasonal. There are phases in life where these priorities ebb and flow.
The truth is - there are a few times where I resented my priorities - but largely, and most of the time, I don’t. I don’t resent the days I missed a baseball game or track meet because I was working on a presentation or away speaking at a conference. I am not going to lie and say that I didn’t feel guilty (that is a whole other conversation) - but I didn’t resent my priorities at that moment.
I say all of this because we are all going to feel like we are royally fucking it all up. That you are failing as a parent, as a boss, as a partner, or as a friend - and I venture to guess that these feelings come from outside pressure or even unrealistic standards you have set for yourself. Let it go. Just because your life doesn’t look like the instagrammer telling you to go get a massage so you have work life balance doesn’t mean your life isn’t perfect as it is.
Lean into where you are. Find YOUR balance. It may look completely different than mine and it may look completely different in a month - that is life! It changes so much and if we continue to hold on to this prescription of work life balance that we have been handed, we will fail. So make your own. Lean into your life - change your priorities often and the next time you hear someone telling you that you need work life balance tell them it’s all bullshit and do your own damn thing.
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