Work Life Balance… A Complete Bust!

As I’m driving to work half asleep with one eye that’s been twitching for the past 3 weeks from pure exhaustion, I came to a realization.  There is no such thing as work life balance!  Whoever says we can have it all is wrong.  I am writing this on a Friday morning after a marathon of a week and an even busier weekend ahead of me. 

Here is a quick breakdown of my week:

Monday: Monday morning I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat and got weighed, of the fun of being weighed every month and only see the number on the scale climb to new highs! 
Tuesday: Tuesday was my husband’s and my second wedding anniversary so we went out to dinner.  We did indulge ourselves a little with a four course dinner at a gorgeous old mansion near us. If you’ve been pregnant you know any meals past 7 p.m. get exhausting!
Wednesday: Wednesday was a long work day, I worked from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Thursday: Thursday morning at 8 a.m. we found out if we are having a boy or girl.  I’m thrilled to say we are having a girl!  And now begins the weekend of telling everyone!  Thursday night we told my brother and sister in law over dinner at their house. 
Friday: Friday night, we have a dinner at 7:30, which really means 9 p.m. to celebrate 6 birthdays on my husband’s side. Again another late dinner, which equals…exhaustion!
Saturday: I work Saturday morning for about 5 hours, and then the big gender reveal party Saturday night. 
Sunday: Sunday is a bridal shower two hours away.  Yes, I’m at the age where my weekends are consumed by bridal and baby showers, weddings, and kid’s birthday parties! 
Monday: Monday morning I’m off to the city to appear on a women’s panel. 
Wow I’m even more tired thinking about it! 

On top of this, I have my book being edited and published with questions coming from five different people.  My first piece of advice is to NOT write a book while pregnant on top of working your normal hours and even more hours in my case.  I know you are very busy as well so I apologize for the long vent. But I want you to see this past week has been more about my family, friends, and our baby to be.  I’ve been squeezing work in between, but I feel so guilty I haven’t been able to be more focused with it.  And then it hit me while I was driving!

For the first four months of the year, I have been focusing so much on work that everything else fell to the back burner.  Now it is switching a little bit more to my personal life.  I think our lives are on a pendulum swinging from work life to home life.  One week we might be with our families more and the next week we are stuck at work the entire time.  My epiphany was about not feeling guilty when I’m spending more time with my family one week.  And also not feeling terrible if I’m working late five nights the next week.  Knowing the pendulum will eventually swing back to the other side helps reassure me I am doing my best.  I will make up for the lost time from working too much one month when I’m on vacation with my family the next week. 

By getting rid of the guilt, is freeing me up to be more focused on my work when I’m at the office and be more present when I’m with family and friends.  Or by myself for some much needed down time.  So STOP trying to balance it all every minute of your day because it is not going to happen.  Don’t feel guilty leaving your children to go to work, think I get to go to work, NOT I have to go to work (see the difference?). It will change your mindset to be more positive at work and stop thinking about what you’re missing at home.  We are only human and can only handle so many things at one time.  Give yourself a break and stop the endless guilt cycle.  Your family won’t remember that one night you had to work late, but they will remember the day when you were fully present with them doing something fun and spontaneous.  You were able to be fully present because you weren’t feeling guilt about skipping work.  You just did it!  And the pendulum will eventually swing back to work, and you’ll feel even more invigorated to be there. 

So I will try to take my own advice and enjoy these celebratory moments because they will fly right by if I don’t.  I’ll be fully engaged each night I’m with family and friends instead of worrying about my book and upcoming events.  Will you do the same and give yourself a little break with me?  Let’s not be so hard on ourselves, work will always be there just like our family will always be there.  Enjoy your life, it already goes too quick! 

It is very fitting that this posting is up the week I’m on vacation with my husband and baby bump. Now back to my few days off in Montauk before my husband gets mad I’m working!

Enjoy your work life and enjoy your home life!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CFDA, CFS®
Wealth Advisor

Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® in the U.S.