While it is true I have a bit of an addiction to the Celebrity Babies Blog, I get really annoyed when they feature quotes from celebrity moms waxing poetically on the art of balancing work and family life. I think people who have nannies, cooks, stylists and personal trainers (and, obviously, large chunks of disposable income) should consider staying mum on the subject.
I had to work a few more hours than normal last week and its effect was noticeable. My house was a mess and I didn’t cook a single meal all week. (Come to think of it, when WAS the last time I cooked a meal? Sigh.) As I was berating myself for my incompetence during this particular week, I realized that this ‘week’ was the rule rather than the exception. It seems that when I focus on one particular thing, others fall by the wayside: work a little more and the laundry piles up; spend several hours cleaning one day and dinner and work fade into obscurity; arrange several play dates with friends one week and everything else takes a backseat.
I guess I had failed to notice this little pattern, blaming my lopsided output on the ‘unusual’ circumstances of a particular week. But, if pressed, I’d have to admit that I can’t recall the last time I had a week in which I worked as much as I needed to, prepared food for all the meals in the day, successfully confined toys to the boys’ bedroom, and tended to the finances and the housecleaning while being a social butterfly and amazing mom and wife. Sheesh, it puts me in a bad mood just to write this.
But then inexplicably, as it is not of my personality to find the silver lining, I concluded – or decided to conclude – that I am achieving balance; just not in all areas at all times. On some days I work, others I clean, others I play with the kids and others I cook and bake. Well, mostly bake.
I call it the ‘unbalanced-balanced’ life or the ‘new balanced’ life. And for whatever reason this change in semantics and perspective have enabled me to feel a little better about my inability to achieve a so-called balanced life.
And just as I reached that conclusion, I found this article online.
So, really, I’m light years ahead…err….behind. Apparently Martha Beck wrote this article in 2003.
The good news is it only took me five years to figure it out.