17 years into my professional career I got the biggest promotion I could dream of – I was promoted to a mom. With the birth of my sweet daughter, in an instant my life changed and I had no idea how much the professional part of my life would be affected. No. One. Can. Prepare. You. For. The. Shit. Show. After years of always the first to the office and often the last to leave, I suddenly was tossed head first into a world of no sleep, scheduling personal meetings so I could go pump in a 4×4 foot room twice a day, and then expect to walk into a boardroom meeting with a smile and sharp wit like nothing had changed from pre baby.
Now, I had a great team, a supportive boss and a company working hard to acknowledge the challenges of being a new mother. But here is the deal – none of those could change my own voice in my head and personal expectations for success in continuing to climb the corporate ladder and to be “the best mom” out there.
So my question – is there such a thing as work life balance? My vote is no – balance is not the goal. At varying points, one of the two will have weight over the other and I suggest balance should never be the goal. I think, rather, there is a work life compromise – and it starts with how you talk to yourself in your head.
To me, the only way to come to peace with the challenges of taking on both parenting and work is to be kind to yourself and acknowledge for a point in time, it is okay to compromise on many things: life can be easier if you lessen the Pinterest level mom expectations and get take out once in awhile. Work can be easier if you set the expectation that you will only travel every other month while your kids are little. And never forget, it is okay to ask for help in both worlds. I didn’t realize it at the time, and I wish someone would have told me… but asking for help is a sign of a wise woman who realizes the importance of personal time – not the sign of a weak person incapable of doing it all. #lifewithzeal #wisewomen