What does work-life balance mean to you?
Is it balancing your time and energies between work and home fronts? Is it carving up your week to allocate time to work, be with kids, do the chores, and relax, exercise or have fun? Any way you look at it, for us mums, this requires a boat-load of scheduling, organising and firefighting, and requires oodles of energy and stamina.
But let us put it to you that work-life balance is not so much the ability to juggle our time, but rather, intentionally pursuing our goals in accordance with our values. In other words, organising our lives to make sure we’re giving our energies to the things that are most important to us. Because, when we live our lives in balance with what’s most important, our life makes sense to us, feels “right”. We feel satisfied, energised and motivated. And when we don’t, we feel sluggish, irritable or unhappy.
So, what might this look like in real life? Here are some examples of how values (highlighted below in bold font) can drive work-life decisions in a mindful way:
- Choosing to work full time because right now her future financial security is her primary focus
- Waiting for the right job - with an employer supporting flexible hours - because it’s vital for her to be able to escape the office or work from home when her kids fall sick
- Choosing a job with a big corporate because she’s happiest when connecting with people face-to-face and gets a buzz out of working in a team environment
- Leaving the big corporate as she just doesn’t flourish in their competitive environment and longs for the autonomy her own business would provide
- Both partners choosing to work part time because they value the chance to co-parent their kids equally
That’s why there’s no “formula” for healthy work-life balance; because everyone has different values, goals, strengths and backstories. There’s no right or wrong, just what feels authentic and serves you best at this juncture in your life.
In our coaching practice, we love to help clients work out exactly what is important to them so they can make plans and make decisions confidently, with a sense of direction and control. Often this is the part people don’t take the time to do. Most people spend more time planning their annual holiday than planning their life! No wonder so many people feel stuck with what they’re doing, hating their job or not knowing what their next steps might be.
Balance isn’t something you find, it’s something you create - by crafting your life with purpose.
With love, from Flourishing Mothers