Some people make it look easy to have a successful work-life balance. But no matter what you have heard, it is not an easy task, and that is okay.
No matter what you may have heard, it is a struggle to find work-life balance.
A few years ago, Sheryl Sandberg wrote a book called, “Lean In” where among other things women were told that if they “leaned in” they could have everything they wanted at work and home. Ms. Sandberg, who spoke from a position of extreme privilege and a great deal of wealth. Yet, there exists another world. A world where women work because they need the money it has nothing to do with personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
When you work because you need the money to take care of yourself and your family you put up with things you may not put up with if you were working for the joy of it or personal satisfaction. When you are working for the money, you may put up with hours you do not like. When you are working for the money, you may allow some indignities to slide, because you need a paycheck. When you are working for the money, you may miss your children’s field trips, recitals, and school plays. When you are working for the money, you know that sometimes work will come before your family. You may not like that fact, but it is a fact.
In the real world, where most people live, the work-life balance thing is a struggle. It is hard to do everything you want to do for your family and keep your boss happy at the same time. If you do not have a full-time nanny at home and an assistant at work, it is not easy to switch back and forth between the two roles at the drop of a hat. In the real world where most people live, the struggle to balance work and life is real. You must accept the fact that because it is a struggle, sometimes you will get it wrong.
There will be days when you take time off from work in order to spend time with your family and projects at work fall apart in your absence. There will be days when you tell your children that you will not be able to accompany them on a school field trip. That will be the day that your children are bullied at school, forget their lunch, and have one of the worst days in their young lives because you were not around to save the day. It is a struggle to balance work and life. The struggle is real.
As you struggle to find a balance between your work and your life, when, not if, but when you mess up, show yourself some grace. When things go wrong, terribly wrong, show yourself good friendship, forgive yourself, and move forward. Do the best you can in all things, and when your best is not good enough, show yourself mercy. Apologize where you can, fix what you can, and move forward with as much dignity and grace as you have within you.
Recognize that the work-life struggle is real and that sometimes you will get it wrong. So the question for you this fantastic day is, how do you show yourself grace when the work-life balance struggle becomes too much?