Balance is bullshit. Yep, I said it. Driving in the car today on my way to pick up my daughter from school, I was actually thinking about the saying "having it all." This is something that's been said about me because I work from home. Well, I call bullshit. After coming home, working on a billion different work-related tasks, I saw this article, written by Cali Williams Yost, posted on Linked In: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/02/08/3-reasons-entrepreneurs-need-to-discuss-work-and-life-but-stop-talking-about-balance/. And I almost high-five'd the computer screen.
I've written about my different stints as work-out-of home mom, then stay-at-home mom, and finally work-from-home mom. I've lived every scenario since becoming a mom 13-years-ago. And each time, the talk is always about balance. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I desperately missed the creative, business woman side of me. And when I'm working, I, of course, miss concentrated time with my kids where I don't feel on-call all the time via Blackberry. Am I happy with the path I've chosen with my career and Mod Mom? No doubt about it. But do I feel balanced? Nope.
When I was a guest on the Nate Berkus show, Nate asked me how I balance and I said that for me, it was about figuring out when to try to fit it all in. If I'm tired, it's not a good time to use the table saw. But seriously, that's the kind of juggling I've been thinking about since 2007. If I'm gonna be "present" with my kids after school, then I have to get up early to do the manual labor stuff so I don't cut my hand off and schedule the computer work for later. And that being a work-from-home mom didn't mean I work less, it just means I have to weave 40+ hours of work in and out of my life as a mom. Oh, and now that I'm not building, it doesn't mean that I'm just phoning it in. It's quite the opposite. Sometimes I look back at life in my garage as the "simpler" times. It was easier to manage 100 orders in a year that I had control over than growing internationally, designing new lines, and managing manufacturing from a different state. Wait, where was I? See...even my brain can't keep up. Back to balance....
Do my kids lose out sometimes? Absolutely. Does work take a backseat sometimes? Yep. Mainly I think we all have to get real about what it means to run a business from home, or work in an office, or raise kids 100% of every day of every year. Or to just live and work in this day and age, period. It's not about balance. For me, it's more about juggling and knowing that "having it all" is not reality. I sometimes feel like I have it all when I manage to shower. That's just the way it is. Clearly, someone who has a tough time fitting in a shower during the day isn't going to win the "balance" award. And I don't want to because, well, balance is BS.