Work-life balance – I’m not sure it truly exists. And as for juggling, it’s for clowns.
So much is written about work-life balance, and rightly so – it’s important to have a balance in our lives. My question is, is it really achievable for working mothers?
For the past 12 months my life has been a comedy, quite hysterical as I have juggled a new baby (number 2), breastfeeding and working. I must say, first time around, building a company in my 20s with no responsibilities, no children and no idea – right now seems a lot easier.
I have spent more time that I care to admit hiding behind trolleys in the corridors of the Telstra Dome or other venues where I have been running sessions to breastfeed my baby, timed to precision during breaks in the workshops I was facilitating (hoping that as I run back into the room there is no trace of baby puke on my shoulders).
Yes, I chose to work and feed my baby myself. The two do not naturally fit together. Now that the time has passed and I look back, I am incredibly happy that I fed her for over 11 months. I wouldn’t necessarily want to repeat the experience. There were times of joy and more than a few tears through sleep-deprived eyes.
By this experience I am reminded of what I do truly believe in – juggling is for clowns. Smart people focus on what they want and devise strategies and plans to achieve this.
Therefore can we balance it all? I don’t think so. Something invariably gives. What we can do is focus on what’s important to us, and with some good planning, support and determination we can achieve our outcomes. I was 100% clear that feeding my baby was a priority for me, therefore I designed everything around this. Being clear on what’s important is vital. What is absolutely non negotiable.
Starting with the end in mind has always been a strategy that has helped me achieve my outcomes. If I begin at the beginning I usually talk myself out of it, get scared or come up with a million reasons why it’s not possible. Then if that’s not enough I get the opinions of others to help me sabotage the end result. What a waste of time.
What do you do?
I leave you with these three questions:
- 1. What is non negotiable for you this year?
- 2. What are you prepared to stand for?
- 3. What are you prepared to do about it?
Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to www.perspectivescoaching.com.au
For more Second Time Around, click here.