As I sit here on the couch surrounded by file folders full of purchase orders, invoices, sketches, half empty cups of coffee, post it notes and small Snickers wrappers, I am struck yet again by how that whole BALANCE thing we work-from-home parents supposedly have really is bullshit.  I wrote a post about it last year but this year, it feels even more intense.  We are in a constant state of appreciation that we're blessed to be able to work the hours we want, answer to ourselves, our retailers,  and our clients, and take off for vacation when we need/want.  But with that said, we have a very hard time giving ourselves permission to STOP working, looking at the i-Phone, answering emails at all hours and talking about work in bed, God forbid.  It's really hard when you know your livelihood is all on your shoulders.  Balance seems to be what we strive for but in reality, we're just doing the best we can to keep all the balls in the air.  And lately, with increased workloads on both sides, busier kids and homework stacks, those balls are dropping. 

And then you throw in we have no after school care, support, nanny, or outside help and while sure, our kids are in school from 8:30 to 3:00, it sure isn't enough time to properly run an international furniture business.   It's just not.  Not in this age of OMG SHE DIDN'T GET BACK TO ME WITHIN AN HOUR SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG.

I'm guilty of looking at my i-Phone too much and saying "Uh huh" when the kids are talking because I'm not fully listening but rather I am reading a message that has to be returned ASAP.  And I know it's not OK but getting off this insanely fast, no-stop work train is harder than getting off caffeine.

When I think back to when I was in corporate our cell phones were just for phone calls and we couldn't even access our email from outside of our offices, I smile. I'm sure we were very productive yet we allowed ourselves time to be human.  To be engaged more as parents.  And because we worked outside the home, our kiddos were in daycare and preschool getting what they needed from engaged caregivers.

I hope at some point the pendulum swings back and I pledge to do what I can from here on out to make it swing back more in our household.  Well, right after I check this this message/text/FB message/tweet/blinking light.  Oh no.  I'm doomed.  :)


Mary said...

I love the honesty! It helps to see that others are in the same boat and aren't sugarcoating the challenges. Now pass some Snickers this way:)

Susan said...

So very very true. There is no such thing as balance unless you want to give up those precious 5-6 hours of sleep that you can squeeze in every night. I'll take a refill on my coffee now please.

Kiersten said...

Thank you Mary and Susan! I'm happy to pass the Snickers and coffee. :)

Darcell Clarke said...

Haha its refreshing to hear some real honesty. I haven't really owned my business for to long but it seems the more I work the more there is to be done.. I would love to just sit back and really pay attention to what's going on in my families life. But there will be time for that. Anyone know were I can get an assistant that works for coffee and doughnut's?