13 Hours: Is there such a thing as a good work life balance?

Yesterday I was out of the house at work for over thirteen hours.

Thirteen hours away from my Children.

Thirteen hours away from my little Family.

Thirteen hours that I spent working so hard that if I am honest, in that time I did not give home a second thought.

Too busy to eat lunch and too busy to take a break.

Willow is poorly and I’d had very little sleep in the night before so I probably wasn’t in the best place to be dealing with a stressful day.

I felt like a yo-yo going up and down stairs for appointments and answering my phone every five minutes!

Workloads are especially high at the moment, and to be absolutely honest I am struggling to cope with completing my work, to the expected high standards at the moment.

I enjoy being busy, I thrive on it, with two very young Children i’m generally fuelled by adrenaline, I used to pushing myself.

But this is too much.

Thirteen hours away from my poorly little girl and then coming home to have to do more work is too much.

Work isn’t going to go away, and neither are my responsibilities at home.
A friend on Twitter last night reminded me of the importance of an equal work-life balance.

A work life balance is about prioritising correctly between career and lifestyle.

He was right. I decided to spend last night with my Husband, catching up with each other, and looking after our baby girl together. It simply is not fair to expect Dave to take extra on too. Plus, as Willow’s Mummy I wantto look after my baby girl when she is poorly.

We also made a lovely meal and sat and ate together. This is such a rarity these days.

I slept well, although not for much longer than six hours, but it’s enough to function and get me through today.

Being a working Mummy is hard work, and the stresses, pressure and emotional pulls are making me feel overwhelmed.

But, this isn’t every day and Willow isn’t always poorly. On the whole, work is good, I enjoy it and the people I work with are great,

I just wish, on occasion I could be in two places at once!

And that there were more hours in the day.

I want to be successful at home AND at work.

Some weeks are always going to be more stressful than others, but this last few weeks have left me feel rather nervous about the next six or so months.

I still think Dave and I made the right decision, but I am worried that I will not be able to strike the right work life balance, and so welcome advice anyone may have on this matter!

At the moment I don’t have much control over the hours I have to work, and so i’m going focus my time and attention on things I can control.

But is it really possible to strike a good work- life balance when the stresses, strains and pulls of life get in the way?

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Comments

  1. says

    I don’t really know the answers Michelle, but I am feeling similarly overwhelmed with work. I have gone back part time but I am really questioning whether the job can be done part time. I feel like I am not doing my job, being a Mummy & looking after my business well at all. And I feel so sad that for 3 days a week I see my beautiful baby for about 30 mins. I don’t know the answers. Do all working Mums struggle with this balance?

    Xxx

    • Michelle Crowther says

      I think they do sadly!!! I want to be everywhere, and be great at everything! But, suppose you can only focus on so much and although you don’t have long with E on some days, you DO make the rest of mummy time count, so that’s all that matters. You’ll settle back in at work, I’m sure x x x

  2. says

    I really admire you for going back to work and making it a success. I miss my job. I miss using my brain like that and the pressure and excitement of a job in Canary Wharf. But I know I’d miss S more. With D living away, not having to work as well is about the only benefit really.
    It must be so hard to be so torn though and to try and keep a good balance. Well done for taking some time out. I hope Willow gets better soon too xxx

  3. says

    Oh I know how this feels. It’s hard isn’t it. I feel like I can’t quite switch off wither at work or at home from the other. I live being busy too, it sometimes tiredness just hits me like a brick. I am not sure what the answer is yet, but just being able to get through the week, and spend some time with everyone, is an achievement! X

    • Michelle Crowther says

      Thanks for commenting Emily. Yep us working mummies have it hard, but suppose we have to have OUR lives too eh? I just want to do everything!!! And in can’t….. Argh!!

  4. says

    I admire your determination to succeed in both work and as a great parent – it’s all about balance and finding that balance can be incredibly hard when being pulled from both sides.

    I think last night you made the right choice by spending time together.

    I often have to remind myself to switch off – ignore emails and demands and just be a mum and wife and more importantly – be me!

    • Michelle Crowther says

      Thanks for commenting Fi! Yes you’re right. It’s just so difficult. I love work. But then it’s easy to switch off when you’re busy isn’t it! Then when you stop working, the guilt kicks in! We’ll find a way…. Somehow!! x x

  5. says

    It’s so hard isn’t it? And there is no easy answer. I went back full time initially but felt I was doing both my work job and mummy job badly and reduced my hours to 4 days a week. I now feel like I’m only doing my work job poorly so some improvement, I suppose.
    I’m looking to reduce my responsibility at work so I’ll have less to do whilst I’m there, but that depends on hubby getting a pay rise. For me at the moment, I’m happy to put my career on the back burner to spend as much time as I can at home in these early years.
    Plus us mums feel guilty about pretty much everything so I guess that doesn’t help! xx

    • Michelle Crowther says

      Thanks for commenting. You’re right about that. Mummy guilt is tough! Hope things get easier for you too. We have to all stick together. If only we could be in two places at once! ;)

  6. MrsEllaBella says

    I’ve just done my second week back at work after mat leave with my first child and I had NO idea how hard it would be in reality. Before I became a parent I thought all the things I’d been told were cliches and this was another, having it all, it’s so hard, but yet again this has proven to be true. I am also now really worried about not being able to do my job part time. If I can’t make it work part time then I don’t want to be there, and then where does that leave me?! Thankfully I think I can make it work, and I work for a group of working mums who at least are very supportive of my new needs. I hope we all manage to crack it and get more of that balance!

    • Michelle Crowther says

      Thanks for commenting!
      Yes, let’s hope we all crack it. I just worry it’s going to become a choice. And it’ll be the kids obviously, but it makes me sad I maybe won’t be able to do everything I want. But hopefully we’ll all find our own paths, and as work evolves it will get easier! x x

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