books, wellness

Work, Family, and Self – is there enough nurture for them all?

 

Everything happens for a reason. There is a reason for this post being written the day after Mothers Day. Not the day before Mother’s Day, not on actual Mothers Day, but the day after.

The day after is a thing for me. When something big and blog-worthy happens, some bloggers rush to their laptops and write a post straight after the event, most will get their act together in advance, actually pre-write the post way before the event, and release it right on time. Not me, I always write the day after, sometimes a couple of days after, sometimes even later than that (cough, sometimes never).

Is this due to a lack of discipline?
Well, its complicated. There are many factors involved in this, but I don’t want to bore you any more than usual, so I’ll simplify things down to one plain fact: I lead a very fractured work life.

What does that mean?
A fractured work life is a life that doesn’t have much flow to it, it stops and starts, and loses it’s train of thought continually. My work week is like a large ice rink, work and non-work commitments are constantly slipping and sliding around, and intersecting each other at the most inconvenient times (much like the thoughts in my head right now). Writing sessions are interrupted by doctor’s appointments, work days are cut short by school concerts, printing jobs are put on hold when a call is made from the school nurse.

Working from home is a big part of the problem. It means that for better or worse, I tend to shoulder a larger proportion of family related duties than my spouse, from homework help and teacher conferences, to sick days and swim classes. In my already truncated work days, I average around two disturbances a day that take me out of my work flow, getting back into it takes a while.

There are days when I get frustrated and wish that I had started my business before I had become a parent. Would things have taken off faster? I’m sure I would have had more time  and energy to put into my ventures.

I’m sure you are finding this all incredibly uplifting. Stay with me!

So, what do I do on days like this, when it feels as if I am running, but not getting anywhere? How do I pull myself out of the rut? Well it can sometimes take a while, but here are some things that I find can help:

  • I get the **** out of my house. Anywhere else with free WiFi, and other humans is a better place to work, trust me.
  • I ignore all the self help advice that is offered by sage twenty somethings living on their parent’s loans, on Bloglovin. Instead, I  write down all my angst to get it out of my system, then forget about analyzing it until I’m in a better mood.
  • I stay away from my TV, read a book instead in the evening (books are my remedy for everything, they offer me escapism that TV just can’t), go to bed early, and then wake up an hour earlier the next day so that I can get an hour to myself to organize my thoughts and feel better.
  • I stay away from my phone, and go and talk to a friend in the flesh. Someone who can put up with my whining without wanting to hit me, and make me see the silver lining in my situation.
  • I tell my nine year old how I’m feeling, and get cuddles from her and the five year old. The best therapy ever.
  • If I have time, I do an hour of yoga. I know it’s counterintuitive to take more valuable time out of my work day, but on tough days this really helps me to think clearly.
  • Finally, I just ride it out, and try to understand that it will pass, just like all the other moments of frustration and self doubt did. Being a bit kinder and more forgiving to myself is something I’m still learning. Things are never going to be perfect, what is perfect anyway?

By the way, there is no way EVERRRR that I would write a blog post on Mothers Day. It’s sacrilegious as far as I’m concerned, I’m too busy completely being a mommy (and therein lies the crux of my problem)! I guess it would be unrealistic to hope for any kind of balance between my home and work life, but I’ll still work on it, and being a mommy is still worth it all.

Happy Day-After-Mothers Day!

 

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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