Work-Life Wednesday Series – Balancing the Scales: Learning How to Keep Family & Work in Perspective {Guest Post}


Hey there!  


I am super excited to be here and I appreciate Sarah for giving me this opportunity!  What a challenging topic for discussion!  We all struggle to find that balance between work and home!  It’s an important topic, to be sure!  


Life is a balancing act.  I don’t care who you are, or what “titles” you hold…every day…in some way or another…we all have to learn how to balance the things that vie for our attention.  Children, spouse, friends, home, work, community obligations, projects, hobbies…Things are constantly shifting and rearranging.  Sometimes, it feels like there are not enough hours in the day…not enough of me to go around.  


Throughout my adult years I have gone from stay at home mom to working mom and everything in between.  There are seasons of life that have required different things of me, and there have been different ways in which I could best contribute to the well being of my family.  Each “job” being vitally important, and each vastly different.  I’m sure some of you can relate!  


As a working mama, there is much that is expected of me.  Whether those expectations come from outside or are self imposed…they are a reality.  There are a few things that really help ground me, and I’d love to share them with you.  


Set reasonable goals.  At the beginning of each week, I write down in my calendar things I want to accomplish.  Let’s face it…there will always be things on the mental list that I’d love to get done!  Always!!  Sometimes I have to actually remind myself that I’m gone from home about 30 hours every week.  Oh…and that I’m not, in fact, wonder woman.  (dang!…)  I possess no super powers.  I can not stretch time beyond it’s predetermined limits.  (dang, again!)  To be honest, I’m still working on this one.  I tend to place WAY too much on my salad sized plate, then feel defeated and irritated…which then spills over into how I engage my family.  Yuck!  So, set reasonable goals for yourself and write them down!  It’s vitally important!


Practice gratefulness.  Take a moment before getting out of bed every day to breath deeply and be thankful for the day ahead…it is filled with possibilities!  Seriously…a grateful heart is such a simple thing.  Every day is a gift!  It’s a new day!  An opportunity to pour into the lives of your people.  Practice speaking out loud the things you’re grateful for.  Even if you’ve had a horrible night’s sleep.  Maybe your baby cried all night.  Maybe your little munchkin fell out of bed and woke you up screaming bloody murder…maybe you’re like me, and sleep is a difficult task on a good day…You can think of something!  I promise!  Give it a try just once!  This one gives me pause…especially when I give thanks for that job that I have to get up at 5:30 to go to, or that sweet little munchkin who fell out of bed and scared me to death with his blood curdling scream.  A grateful heart automatically changes my attitude!


Ask for help.  I know.  I know.  I can feel you rolling your eyes right now!  😉  But for real…if you have a house full of people like I do, everyone can do something.  Even the little people.  Now…you’re gonna have to get over that idea that it all has to be perfect.  Trust me…I had to lay that one to rest, and still do, on the regular…If your 6 year old son wants to help fold the laundry, let him!  If everyone does a little something, then you all get to breath at the end of the day, and Mama stays a wee bit more sane!  


Keep work at work.  There’s nothing worse than that moment you realized you totally just snapped at your kids for something small and that it wasn’t even them you were feeling prickly about.  Don’t walk in the door and start dumping all your work junk on your people!  Take a moment in the car to take a deep breath and release it!  If you work at home, and you’re always with your kids (been there), when the lines blur between work and family…that’s harder.  Harder, but not impossible.  Take 5 minutes.  Grab a glass of water, and have a seat.  Take a beat…give yourself a moment to recenter your thoughts and clear out the cobwebs of work stuff.  


Don’t take yourself too seriously.  No, really…a little levity is super vital to a healthy work/family balance!  There is joy that comes from a little lightheartedness.


Find joy in the simple things in your life.  This, for me, is the absolute most valuable tool I use to keep perspective, to balance work and home, to be the best me I can be.  The day to day can become so mundane…so insignificant.  The fact is, we all have things we have to do.  every.  single.  day.  The gift is, we get to do those things!  


We are given this life, this breath each day to strive, to find contentment…to give…to make a difference in this world!  You may feel like what you do isn’t seen…like it doesn’t matter…The fact is, is does matter!   As moms we pour ourselves out every day for our loves.  We are raising the next generation of thinkers, of doers, of innovators.  The next generation of amazing, smart, caring humans!  They will make the choices they make in the end, but if we show them what it means to find joy in the simple things, to seek joy in where they are and who they are…they will learn to look for it!  


There is no magic solution to the balancing act of work and family.  Each one of us has to be mindful of what works for us, and what the needs of our families and our jobs require of us.  These few things I’ve mentioned are not the be all and end all, but they help me not lose my mind as I continue to navigate daily life as a working mama.


I’d love to have you stop by my brand new little blog, chasing simple joys, and say “hey!”  I’m just getting started, but so far, I’m having a blast!  


Take care, and remember…just breath…and find joy in the simple things!  


Peace & Love,
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About the Author

Charity is a wife, mother, aspiring photographer, knitter, homesteader-ish, and blogger.  She began blogging because she wanted to share lessons she’s learned along the way about life, raising kids, living out faith, and how she finds joy in the simple things.  Her hope is that you will be encouraged by her words, and be challenged to find your joy.  She loves all things homesteading and sustainable, natural living.  You can find her blogging about healthy recipes and different DIY adventures, along with deeper thoughts on faith and family, and hear how she navigates the crazy of life on her blog, chasing simple joys.  You can also connect with her on Twitter, Instagram or Google+, or find her on Facebook.    

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3 Comments on "Work-Life Wednesday Series – Balancing the Scales: Learning How to Keep Family & Work in Perspective {Guest Post}"

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Lauren Tamm
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Hey Charity,<br /><br />I totally agree that starting the way with a grateful heart is incredibly important. Positivity is based on intention. So if I am intentionally starting my day appreciating life then my day will become more fulfilling and rewarding. I do struggle to keep work at work. I am working from home, so it's hard to know when to shut off and when to fit in a small task. Thanks

Charity Dunlap
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Thanks, Lauren! 🙂

Tania B
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I don't know how many conversations I have had with my hubby about this very thing. Enough to make me pull my hair out! This is great, I will print it off for him.