Teagan's Sandbox

Life

Finding Work-Life Balance

Prior to having Teagan, juggling work and my personal life always seemed pretty effortless. For a while there, Cary was on a 2pm-10pm work schedule so I could work as long as I wanted, I could make time to see friends at night, keep our house clean and then we would live for the weekends together.

Since having a baby, I suck at this thing called work-life balance. You see people on social media that manage to make it look so effortless. I just thought I would fall right into all these roles and it would be a piece of cake. Not so much.

When I went back to work, my days would start at 4am. I would pump for 45 minutes, get myself ready and leave to get to work early. Cary would handle Teagan in the morning so I could get off earlier, pick her up earlier and manage our house. As the days went by this schedule just got pushed later and later.

I quickly realized that during the work week, I would get a solid 3 hours with Teagan before her bedtime, if I was lucky. By the time she went down to sleep, I am so exhausted from the day. It would then be time to cook dinner or cleanup from dinner and then before I knew it, it was time to pump and go to bed.

So when does the rest of the house get cleaned? When do you go grocery shopping? When do you spend time with family, friends, or take the dog on a long walk? It all just felt so overwhelming. I began to feel like I was just barely treading water. If it wasn’t one thing I was sucking at it, it was the other. It became the struggle of do I want to spend more quality time with my family or do I want to feel like my house isn’t turning into a barn because cutting out  the time I spend earning my paycheck didn’t seem like a logical option at first.

Of course that decision was always family but it comes at a cost of feeling like a failure in every other aspect. There are technically enough hours in the day to get everything done right? No. Not when you try to wear 10 hats in one day. I mean some days I can’t even remember if I put deodorant on and that seems like it would be a pretty easy task.

I finally came to the realization that I in fact cannot do it all. I try my best, but I’m not good at this whole work-life balance thing as a lot of other people with children. I truly admire those people that can do it all…or at least can fake it like it’s their job.

I am hoping that quitting my job to focus on my role as wife and mom will help me get my life together. My friend Liza is also a stay at home mama and she stressed the importance of getting a routine in place quickly so that’s the plan. I don’t have any high hopes of finding the routine that works for Teagan and me within the first weeks but gotta start somewhere right? More to follow there. Any tips? Help.

To all those out there without children…savior every single second you have of that magical thing called work-life balance because I’ve come to realize that once a sweet little baby comes along, that thing becomes this new thing called a unicorn. I’m now chasing my new normal.

    2 COMMENTS

  • carolyn reynolds January 31, 2017 Reply

    Jenn, I applaud your decision to give up what you have said was your dream job. Remember when you are looking at those people you think have it all together, it is 50% illusion. I tried to achieve that illusion of I can do it all, I am super mom. Well you know how that went. As you are taking on this adventure to achieve your new norm, you need to establish “Jenn Time” every day where it is what you want to do for you not need to do, even if it is just 30 minutes to take a bath or go for a jog. You will find that while it will be gung ho at the beginning it’s a lot like working out and being healthy, that there will always be an excuse-there is no time today to do that or its easier to just go fast food. Don’t fall into the trap. Unless you make it part of your daily pact, you eventually will wake up and realize you have lost you, it will be all about everyone else and not about who you are. It’s not selfish to do this, it is a neccisity, because unless you are your best “you” you are denying your family the opportunity of having your best. Make sure you make time for adult conversation (no not with Cary) with others or you will go batty. Find the time to take a class again even if it a cooking class or start your masters (one class at a time) for when you think you want to go back to work, find a mommy and me workout class that meets weekly-Teagan will like the interaction with others her own age and you will crave the same stimulation after awhile. There will be good days when you think you have made the right decisions but be prepared there are days that you will question if you were psycho to quit your job. But your choice to be with that precious strawberry is one good one, Be true to yourself and what you are trying to achieve.

  • Liza January 31, 2017 Reply

    Your mamas comment above is absolutely perfect!! 🙌 I couldn’t agree more. I’m so happy for you and your new stay at home mama life with your lil cutie pie and can’t wait to have more play dates! 💕 Holla atcha girl 🙋🏻

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