Work/Life/Me Balance

Work/Life/Me Balance

Throw Back Thursday:
Me on Work/Life Balance in 2014

Did you know that moms in the ‘50’s spent less time with their kids than working moms do today? It doesn’t surprise me to learn that Dads, according to the Pew Research Center, have nearly tripled the time they spend with their kids since 1965. But really? I spend more time with my three kids than June Cleaver spent with hers? Apparently it’s true, since I do less housework (yay!) and spend less time alone (boo), as LiveScience explains in 5 Ways Motherhood Has Changed Over Time.

When I commuted into the city, I spent only 45 minutes a day with my (then) only daughter, J. However, my solitary train ride in the quiet car provided nearly an hour and a half of alone time each day. But the reality of spending only 45 minutes a day with my child physically hurt. Now I work from home for the flexibility of driving J to school, taking M to music class and strolling around the neighborhood with baby C. My alone time? The 10 minute drive home from preschool listening to Z100’s Morning Zoo, and the too occasional visit to CKO Kickboxing.

Last week, I played the part of a stay at home mom when our caregiver fell ill. I loved being home with my kids, planning play dates and arts & crafts projects. I loved eating three square meals a day with them and even enjoyed struggling to get all three into the car at 8:45am to make it in time for preschool carpool. After two days, I told my husband the best Mother’s Day gift would be letting me sneak away for a pedicure. After five days, the smallest incidents caused a melt down. Not with them, with me.

I saw parenting coach Stacey Houghtaling speak last week at our Mothers & More Mom Owned Business Group meeting. She talked about the importance of self-care – about giving yourself even a small amount of alone time each day. A social worker, who used to lead the Playgroup with a Purpose program at TSTI, encouraged us new moms to actively choose one ME activity a day – whether it be a quiet cup of coffee before the kids wake, preparing a home cooked meal for your family, or even the luxury of taking a shower, blow drying your hair, and putting on make-up.

We working parents in 2014 are all trying to achieve a work life balance that works. I always thought that meant a balance between career and family. But now I realize that balance needs to also include me.