So the other day while sitting at my kitchen island I found myself writing an email, having 2 conversations going via text, cooking dinner, and helping my son with his Math homework.
Does that qualify for quintuple tasking? Is there such a word? I feel that that scenario goes way beyond multi-tasking and I deserve a gold star or something. As I realized what was happening, I sat back and laughed and then of course called my mother to tell her what was going on. When I told her of the 5-ring circus playing out at my house, she actually said that I give her anxiety by just telling her what goes on in my life on a daily basis.
For many of us, balancing career and family is an extremely difficult task. I welcome the days when I only have to take care of my son and drive him around to his activities. That feels like a vacation to me. The June Cleavers are a dying breed because in today’s day and age most households need two incomes to survive. If you are like me, your thirst for being an entrepreneur and running your own business gets challenging. Having a demanding corporate job is just as hard. Being present, and coherent at business meetings, networking groups and corporate functions is a tough thing to manage. We always have our families on our mind. Who is where, who needs a ride to basketball, what are they going to eat for dinner if we are not home to cook for them. This is craziness! I am convinced this is why women live longer than men because our hearts are strengthened everyday by the amount of anxiety that is pumped through them.
If you are like me, you struggle to find balance. So as women, what can we do to try and find that happy place where both our career and families can meet? Here are a few suggestions.
Refuse To Feel Guilty- This will be difficult at best. Understand that when you are working on a project for work, or at a meeting, you are actually working towards either another sale or doing your job that could either lead to a promotion, or higher profit which everyone in your family benefits from.
Saying No To Your Children- Sound like a bad thing? It actually is not. It teaches them that they cannot have everything they want just because they ask for it, and when they are able to go somewhere or buy something that it should be cherished. Just say no to raising a Veruca Salt. Your child will thank you later.
Take Care of your Adult Relationships- If Mama is not happy, nobody is happy. Spend time nurturing your marriage, relationship or close friends. When stressful times arise, you will need these people to help get you through.
Money Is Not God – Remember the character Ebenezer Scrooge from the classic movie A Christmas Carol? He worked on both Christmas Eve and Christmas and took no time to celebrate with family and friends because he had none. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want scary ghosts visiting me at night and I like having fun times with my family and friends. So keep money in perspective. Although it is a necessary evil, it doesn’t have to be in the forefront of your every waking thought.
Reward yourself- Take time out to spoil yourself. Get those monthly manicures, schedule a massage or a facial and make sure to hit the gym. By taking care of Mommy and making yourself feel good, this will flow over into everyone in your family getting taken care of and not neglected. A little goes a long way in this category.
Significant Other Support- Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help with family responsibilities. This isn’t a one-woman show. We as females are harvesters by nature. It has been engrained in our minds to take on that matriarchal role of caretaker. If you are working full-time, keeping up with the household chores as well is difficult. Doing the laundry or emptying the dishwasher isn’t going to kill your man or challenge his manlihood either. He will make it through.
There is no fantasy life. We are living in real time. We can’t do it all and that’s ok. We will not be burned at the stake for it. We will all survive and everything will get done, and if it doesn’t, just put it on the agenda because tomorrow is another day. The next time you take your child to the park to play on the swings, just remember that as a child, the see saw was always a fun thing to do. Just appreciate life’s ups and downs and enjoy the ride.
Cheryl Hajjar is the author of Indigo Pixies and lives in North Andover Masachusetts. You can e-mail Cheryl at: email@example.com