Whether you’re a working mom, a stay at home mom or dabbling in the world of both, one thing is for certain – finding a balance between the two is hard. Perhaps you’re feeling guilty for overworking and not being home enough or you’re constantly chasing after a toddler and longing for parts of your pre-baby identity back; regardless, I think it’s common for moms to struggle with “doing it all”.
It didn’t take a year after Chloe was born for me to realize that going back to work was important to me. But, like many mothers, I wanted to find something I loved to do that also offered flexibility so I could also be with Chloe (queue starting my own business). More than 6 months later, I have to say, I’ve finally gotten it off the ground and yes, I do feel more fulfilled, complete, and even more balanced.
Starting my own business has challenged me mentally, pushed my strategic capabilities and general business skills. Bringing in an income has also provided me with feelings of accomplishment and pride all while contributing financially to our household. It’s given me my own focus outside of my family while also allowing me the flexibility to still spend time with Chloe during the week and take her to school on Friday mornings.
But, over the course of the last month, my business has picked up (yay!) and I have gotten not one or two but THREE new clients (in case you missed it, I started my own social media biz which you can learn more about here). In a matter of a week, it felt as if that balance I’d been working towards had been shaken up and now I need to figure out how to get it back on track.
Like any new job or project, there’s always some stress that’s involved particularly when there are unknowns and unfamiliarity. For me with MS, that stress is felt physically and my body reacts in ways that I can’t control. My arms get numb and they tingle constantly. Week nights I’m in bed just after 7:30pm when I put Chloe down because I’m honestly just exhausted. I’m at week 3 of this and I’m realizing I need to figure out a solution.
Some of you may be thinking I shouldn’t take on more work but that feels like a cop out. I know I am capable of figuring out a new routine, a new normal but I do need to also identify how to get there. I need to look at my situation – what I’m doing and more importantly, what I’m not doing – and figure out how to prioritize my day and make sure I’m putting my health, wellness and happiness at the forefront – otherwise it’s just not worth it.
As I do for each of my clients now, I need to develop my own set of goals, a strategy and execution plan to achieve the balance I’m seeking. To help me do this, I’ve made a few initial changes that’ll go a long way (or so I hope). I have hired someone to help me with parts of my business and have decided to put Chloe in a great daycare part-time to not only free up some of my time but so she can be exposed to other children, learning and activities which I know she’ll love. It also still allows me to be with her each morning for breakfast, pick her up for our afternoon walk and tuck her in at night. It’ll give me some much needed time in the day to focus on my clients while also having more time to then focus on myself.
Goal: Strike a balance between working while also making time to take care for myself and spend time with my family.
In true Type-A fashion, I’ve outlined some items below that I believe will help me reach a more balanced state mentally and physically. This is really what I need help with because I have a tendency to go-go-go, without always thinking about the consequences. Perhaps if I can do these things (even 80% of the time), I’ll begin to get my balance back and then numbness will reside.
Plan of Action
- Vitamins – Take Vitamin D, B12 and a multi vitamin every day. – I don’t do this anymore! I’ve started slacking and I know it’s essential, especially with MS. B12 especially helps with tingles I learned from my doc.
- Exercise – Walk 10k steps a day 5 days a week. Aim for a work out class 2x a week. – I admit it, I don’t work out. I haven’t really since our wedding. My exercise is generally walking with Chloe and Oscar and I need to be more consistent and find another workout that I like to do that also FITS into my routine.
- Sleep – Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night – I’m usually good about this since I have a hard time functioning without a lot of sleep.but it’s a good reminder to turn off the TV or not go out late
- Eat clean – Eat whole foods, including lean proteins, veggies and fruits and minimize any unprocessed foods / sugars and gluten – I’ve also been a stickler for healthy eating but haven’t been as diligent lately. I need to get back on track!
- Make bed / tidy room – Take 10 minutes before I start to work each day and make my bed and tidy up my room. My bedroom is my office so this makes a big difference to me mentally.
- 5 min meditation – I need to work on including meditation in my life – if even more a few minutes a day. I know this… I’ve known this but I need help with a recommendation of something EASY and quick. Anyone?!
Based on these items – and hopefully more that you give me – I’m going to develop a schedule that I will follow. You may roll your eyes but I know that it takes an actionable plan for me to execute otherwise things will stay the same.