I can hear you now. “I don’t have any secrets, that’s why I am reading this article!” But here’s the truth: You actually have every answer you need to create Work–Family Balance in your life.
How do I know this? I have worked with hundreds of women just like you, on this topic. I have marveled at the ways in which working moms are able to shift into a balance that truly works for them as long as they let go of comparisons to other working mothers and commit to trusting their intuition.
As moms we can sometimes find ourselves comparing ourselves to our friends and colleagues. We are all attempting a life that we need to create as we go. There are no degrees and no real template.
Even if our mother did everything “right,” we know that her secrets and strategies will not truly work for our lives. One woman might work at a job that requires travel or long days at the office, while another woman might have a business she is running from home.
How old are your children? If you have a 2 year old, your challenges are physical – in other words, you are running after that child 24/7. If you have a high school student, your challenges may be of the mind – how do we keep them happy and healthy during the teen years? And then, they go off to start their new lives! How do we take care of ourselves during that time?
To identify YOUR secrets, you will want to take some time to do a bit of self reflection. My job is to assist you in finding your secrets, and I can’t wait!
So let’s get started.
Last week in part one of the work-family balance series we talked about doing more Thinking, Moving and Connecting in order to gain more self awareness.Once we expand our ability to be self aware, we can identify our secrets.
So, how did you do?
Identify a time in the past week when you chose to take a few extra minutes for yourself. What did you notice? If you didn’t find an opportunity, when could you commit to finding an opportunity this coming week?
Example: I found a moment in the car this afternoon. Instead of turning off the engine as soon as I got home to run inside and start dinner, I stayed in the car for a moment and waited for my favorite song to end. It seems simple, but it was a moment that I wouldn’t have had if I had not been committed to taking a bit more time to think.
Were you able to move more? How did that feel? Did you choose to walk upstairs instead of take the elevator? Did you park a bit further from your destination in order to walk the last couple of blocks? What did you notice?
Example: I noticed I need to move MORE and the way to do that is to give myself more time. I commit to giving myself a few more minutes in between meetings and appointments. I will let you know how I do next week!
You may already be a natural connector but, were you able to go above and beyond last week? Where did you stretch in this area? Where would you like to expand your connections more this coming week?
Example: I actually started a conversation with a woman sitting at a nearby table at lunch today. That is a big step. I am usually a “nose in book” girl. I will celebrate by doing more connecting.
Remember that there is no “right” way to create more self awareness – this is about finding what works for you. What do you think you did in the past week that created just a bit more self awareness?
What can you do in the coming week to “up the ante” and gain more self awareness?Self Awareness is the key to creating balance and I am willing to bet you have experienced moments of balance in your life.
Take some time to think about when that balance has been present.
- What does it mean to you?
- Does balance allow you to integrate all aspects of your life throughout the day?
- Or, do you feel more balance if you are able to be fully present during the day at work and then leave it behind when you walk through your front door in the evening?
- Is it somewhere in between?
1. Take a moment and identify times in your life that you experienced Work-Family Balance – if even for a moment, and write them down.
2. Once you have identified moments of balance, ask yourself what components of the situation helped you to experience balance?
- Maybe it was the way you were being in the moment?
- Perhaps you were getting the kind of help you need?
- Were you spending more time at work or at home?
- Was it a matter of feeling appreciated?
Take the time to find your answer: Why did that situation feel like work-family balance? Once you identify it, write it down.
Here’s just one more idea for today. Look at the answers you wrote above. Find one element that you can identify, that helps you feel that balance you are committed to creating.
When I began to work on this topic, I noticed that one element always present was my ability to get enough sleep each night. I saw that when I got enough sleep, my ability to create balance and maintain self awareness improved dramatically.
What is one small discovery that you can make by reading your answers? This is just the beginning. You don’t need to have all the answers – today is about finding your first hint.
And stay tuned for next week and Part three of the Work-Family Balance Series where we will identify what balance is WORTH to you.
Coaching is about empowering the client to identify her own answers and take tangible actions to move forward. If you would like to learn more, schedule your complimentary 30 minute phone session with me today. I can be reached at email@example.com