Okay guys! This is a hard one that I do not pretend to be an expert on.
Let’s go ahead and categorize this post under #personal instead of #professional because I am… a work in progress.
If you follow my blog, you’re tired of hearing how busy my life is (work + school + home + rest of life) so I won’t rehash that point. What I want to speak on today though is BALANCE.
The weekend seems like as good as a time as ever.
The weekend is the Perfect example of trying to pay attention to my family and be an attentive wife and mother… while also being mindful of the term paper due at 10pm or the presentation due Monday.
It is a constant struggle to prioritize and find a balance.
It’s an ideal to work an 8-5, turn work “off”, and then be on family time. But what if you’re going to school full time which includes 20 counseling hours a week? Where does that time fit in?
There are really multiple areas in my life, but for the most part I can lump them into Work + Home.
This is Work Tana
At work, I have to look and be professional.
- Achieve this.
- Check this box.
- Mark off this item on the to do list.
With my job it’s difficult, even aside from the school piece, to “turn off” at 5 though because of the nature of the work. You cannot hear people’s secrets and challenges all day and not care or take some piece of that (more about self care and decompartmentalizing later). The longer I’m in this field, the better I get with this balance, but it is still a practice.
I am sure I will write a post (or two or three or four) in the future about self care but for now, I will say you HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF as a therapist.
Your needs are just as important as your clients. Hear me when I say that because I think that’s hard for counselors to hear, especially new ones.
IF YOU ARE NOT IN A GOOD PLACE, YOU CANNOT HELP ANYONE.
Clients are not dumb or naive. They can tell when you’re tired or stressed. I’ve had some long term clients call me on it before.
Process what you’re going through and be good and ready when you’re at work to work.
Her jobs include tending to everyone’s emotional needs at home, planning and updating the family budget, managing the family schedule – including a million Tee Ball games (is that a thing everywhere or just here in Texas?), among other things.
If any of you fellow mamas out there are reading this, you know the list of Mom Duties can go on and on and on. Our job is never done.
I never understood being a mother was a 24/7 job until I had a child.
Don’t get me wrong. I understood the basics from years of babysitting and nursery work. I always wanted to be a mom.
But I don’t think anyone can truly grasp HOW MUCH of a commitment it is until their child is here. In your arms. Your responsibility.
Every decision about what they do and say and eat and drink. Who they play with. What they watch on TV. Don’t get me started on societal expectations of mom’s because I may never finish this post.
My point is. Being a mom is a full time job. Whether you work full time or part time. You never get to turn off being a mom. If your kid needs you, you find a way. Period. Mom may be in the background for a few hours but the app is always running. It’s always there.
AND THATS JUST BEING A MOM.
Now add actively working on your marriage. The day in day out work to keep the spark alive.
- The daily chores required to keep a house afloat.
- The pets.
- The flowers.
- Your families.
- Your friends.
- Your projects.
- Your hobbies.
The list goes on… and on.
I find my hardest struggle right now to be balancing Work + Home Life.
With a super kind and supportive family, it’s possible. I function in Survival Mode and cut out time for self care as often as I can.
I think having an end in sight is another huge piece for me. Read my post “What a Happier life?” And learn about My Can Do Attitude Knowing graduation is just around the corner (hallelujah!) helps me to keep my eye on the prize and know this difficult phase will pay off.
Ultimately this works for my family! We discuss our goals and help each other work towards them. My graduation has become a goal for all of us now and we are stronger for that!
RECAP– for me finding a balance boils down to:
- communicating my needs
- trying to keep work at work and be present at home
- making time for self care (long baths, talks with friends, reading a good book, etc)
- remembering this stressful juggle of life won’t last forever
At the end of it, finding a balance is an individual task discovered on a case by case basis so I’m curious for feedback!
What do YOU do to find that balance in your life? Working moms (or dads)? Also willing to accept links to other blogs if someone else has wrote on this topic. The more the merrier! Let’s band together for support against our enemy – TIME.