Work Life Balance or Imbalance

bears

People throw out this term all the time and say things like well what you want to achieve is a work life balance. I am sorry a whaaat? I feel like when you are a parent there is no such thing as balance because your kids are always the primary focus of your life or are they? Well at least until they go off to college then perhaps not so much and then once they have a family…maybe even less so. But until they are 18 shouldn’t they be the primary focus? The scales will always Always ALWAYS be tipping on the side of life (I mean shouldn’t they) and by my life I mean my bears and by bears I mean the twins. Did I ever tell you why I call them bears? I actually don’t know why but bears have always held a special place in my heart and when Gunny was little she use to squish up her face in this really silly way and I called it bear facing and she still does it sometimes. So does Ahrielle. Anyway I have always thought of them as these cute little bears though they don’t have fur or make grrring noises (maybe on occasion when they are upset with me). They have heard me make this weird sound when I am exasperated and have now so wonderfully adopted that into their own language when they are frustrated. Like mother like daughter. Anyway where was I? Oh right work life balance. So how does one do this? And now here’s the part where you think I am going to write what that is. Ennnnh. I don’t have a clue how to do it. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in my work actually and it is all self-induced. That is the suckiest part. I created this insane schedule that I must adhere to agreeing to take more and more work. You hear this and you say well tell your boss you can’t take on any more projects. Well I am my boss and I said to myself Self don’t you think this might be too much and my Self says Naaah I got this. Well I don’t actually. Many days go by and I feel like a failure which sounds crazy because I actually formed my own audiobook production company in August of last year and have recently started producing work beyond my own and this little indie company is now bursting at the seems. But the yardstick of success is elusive to me and I don’t only have those feelings in my career. I have them as a mom especially when I feel like too much of my focus is on my work. Now time wise am I spending any less time with them not really but the difference I am beginning to realize is that my mental focus is often some place else. I cannot believe I am admitting that. What kind of a parent am I you say? I don’t know but believe me I am not proud of it. And its not that I am not paying attention to them or playing with them. Listen I can get down and dirty with dollhouse maybe better than most. I will have the LOL doll family driving in their Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Trolley on their way to some amazing party where Mr. and Mrs. Poop and baby poop live (yes they are still obsessed) and everyone constantly has to use the potty. But it’s like a part of my energy is still with my work. I haven’t really felt this way until recently. And I’ll be damned if my bears don’t know. I swear they can sense and feel some of the energy that mamma bear normally gives to them is being directed elsewhere. So work life balance feels so far beyond my reach and I cannot even talk about it without welling up and looking for chocolate for comfort. Even as I write this I am sitting inside Bucky’s sipping a venti java chip almond milk 4 pumps of raspberry light whip with chocolate drizzle frappucino. Anyway I am sure this has been written about a million times over and will probably continue to be but it seems there is something innate in many mother’s that they feel like they have to be a superhero and do it all work a full time job and take care of the kids and not just do it all but do it all while maintaining a smile on their face and an upbeat attitude. Why do we do this to ourselves? I mean we are human after all not superheros. And because I am not meeting this impossible bar of superherodom (I just made that up. I know it’s not a word. But I like the sound of it. It suits my purposes and it looks cool on the screen.) I fall into a depression. It hits me the hardest when I watch my bears struggle with things I wonder if other kids struggle with. And with these things I am caught between the idea of is this sensory related or is this behavior related. If its sensory then I can pretty much let myself off the hook and say it’s related to their developmental delay (either emotional or mental maturity) but if it’s behavioral then there is only one person to blame and that’s me. I think it’s my fault. I did this to them. I caused them to act this why and to do x y or z. So I stay in that dark place until I come to the conclusion I always come to. There is only so much beating up of oneself  (wasted energy but that doesn’t seem to make a difference) before you just say you know what I am doing the absolute best that I can and some days will be better than others and the most important thing I can do is continue to love the crap out of my bears and my husband. And thats it. I am not sure that I will ever reach a work life balance. I don’t even know what that would look like. I can say that I have made a deal with myself not to schedule things so closely together and to give myself some breathing room not just for myself to breathe but to breathe with my bears without a part of that breath (thought) belonging to my work life. So for all you moms out there biological or someone who is a mom in every sense of the word but maybe isn’t called that keep doing your thing and cut yourself some slack when you can. We all want the best for our kiddos. To grow up feeling loved and to go out there and be a productive member of society. In order to help that along I pray for them and I keep my fingers crossed (it can’t hurt right).

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