Monday, March 15, 2010

Not quite "balance", but close enough.

When people hear that I work part-time, three days a week, I often hear that it must be a nice "balance". This is after all why I went part-time, right? To find some balance?

Well, I kept reminding myself of this when I found myself overwhelmed over the past few weeks. I reminded myself that I should be happy because I do finally have this elusive "balance", right? Or at least, I'm supposed to have it so I should start feeling "balanced" already, right? But I didn't, and then I would feel guilty, because I wasn't appropriately appreciating my new schedule and which then caused myself to feel even less "balanced".

A week or so ago at a playgroup, when this discussion of "balance" came up again is when I finally realized: Screw Balance. I'm tired of chasing it and being let down.

I didn't have it before kids. I especially won't have it after kids. It doesn't matter what my work schedule is or isn't like. Kids and Balance are just two things that don't go together. I may strive for it. I may get close to it. But I won't ever get it and I need to stop feeling guilty when I don't have it and I feel like I should.

This schedule may not have given me complete balance, but it did give me more time with my family. More time to clean the house. More time to work on the yard. More time to give to others. No, it did not give me more time to give myself. Am I totally OK with that? Not really. But it's all good because it did give me the new found absence of that feeling of dread come Sunday night.

I used to hate Sunday evenings because I would literally get depressed. Depressed that my weekend had come to an end and I was in fact working for the weekends. Now I actually kind of enjoy my "Sunday" nights (which are actually Monday nights). I like getting ready for the next three days, knowing my time at work will be busy, but a little less emotionally demanding. I like knowing my mind can wander away from things like naps, snacks and dog hair. Believe it or not, my three days midweek "working" are a little less work than my four days "off".

And that's OK. I enjoy my "Sunday" nights now and enjoy my "Friday" (actually Thursday) nights even more. It's nice to look forward to something...it's not balance, but it's close enough. And I'm not going to feel even a little guilty about it.

8 comments:

The Pacheco's said...

Great post Isela! Im a SAHM at this point and even being home all day I can't seem to find "Balance" there are days where I just feel like I can't do it! :( I am glad you have something too look forward to! ;)

Eliska Bobeeska said...

I love your blog Ciria. I wanted to say that I find balance from going to yoga at least once a week. I know it seems like we don't have time for ourselves no matter what - but I think that's where we DO find balance, is in taking time to take care of ourselves so that we can give more to others. You might be able to find a yoga class where you get your butt kicked, but also relax at the end and get some time to just be in your own head without having to think of all else that needs to be done. That is just my idea though. =)

Ciria said...

You're right Alisha, I've been looking for a yoga class lately. There is a new Y opening up near me, I'm hoping they'll have childcare and a decent class...it would be a pretty perfect solution! But I can't help but feel guilty about the cost of the class and then just dropping the kids once a week, especially since I work three days. I need to get over this constant guilt!

Eliska Bobeeska said...

I think you have to find the perfect teacher too or else it doesn't really help. I would recomend trying to find an evening class - maybe the hubby could get stay with the kiddos once they are asleep or something. I feel guilty about the cost too, but then budget into my "health care cost" because it's a lot cheaper then when I'm compleatley crazy and needs serious counceling! just kidding, but really - once you find the right class it seems like it makes the whole world better. If you have the right teacher, you won't feel guilty about anything. It's only 90 minutes to yourself in the entire week - so worth it!My practice has helped me let go of a lot of stress and crap I'd been carying for years.

Tira said...

My friends and I struggle with the same word-- "Balance." We all decided it's a myth!

I know when I'm really "off," is when I'm stressed and taking it out on my family. That's when I have to let go of something.... and breathe!

Yoga sounds awesome! Hmm... where can I fit that in?? :)

ps- i love seeing your house pics! so fun to see you add to it.

Mark - Katy - Ben said...

think we all try to get the right balance but when you think you get it you feel unbalanced again, maybe we like change and dont feel happy when we know whats going to happen.

lola coca-cola said...

I am hoping to feel, if not actually achieve, balance soon. It really is a shock to the system to go back to working 5 days a week!

Anonymous said...

I too feel like I am also chasing "balance". I recently joined Stroller Strides and it has given me a sense of balance. I enjoy an hour workout while having the kids with me, they get playground time for at least an hour after and we are all happy! The weather has been so beautiful, a jog along Coronado or Mission Bay has been a great way to start my day. Fresh air and sun is very healing for me!
Wendy