Work/life balance, it’s an act that every mother knows all too well.
As a full-time working mom of 5, I have a lot to say on the subject.
My life is filled with everything that makes me happy to the core. I’ve been married to my husband for 15 years. My 5 kids are my anchors and inspiration for all that I do and why I work so hard. I have a great relationship with my parents, siblings and nieces and nephews. We have a busy life schedule with school for the kids, swimming for the boys, baseball for the boys, dance classes for Victoria. Not to mention, it’s important to get in some date nights and special alone time with my husband (when we can!). I’ve been blessed with having some incredible friends who make me laugh and fill me with happiness. And there’s also the piece of my life that enjoys working out and staying active and fit!
Life is good. I try to live every single day with a glass that is ½ full. It’s not always easy, but I try.
My work life is something I’m extremely proud of because I’ve built it on my own.
I’m a digital entrepreneur, co-founder of MomGenerations.com and AudreyandVera.com. I started with a little blog 9 years ago and just took the time to grow and build it into our family business, being the sole provider of my family. Along with my best friend and business partner Vera Sweeney – we’ve created digital platforms online that we’ve expanded and offline experiences for bloggers/influencers to be part of as well. My work is my passion. I work hard every single day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and I love it. My work is an expression of who I am and I not only love building it, I yearn to build it bigger.
Everyone’s work/life balance is different. There aren’t any 2 stories or experiences that are the same. But the age-old question remains for all women, can you really have it all?
It depends on what it all is. Personal fulfillment means very different things to different people, so your first step is to take the time to gain a rock-solid understanding of what “it all” means to you. To me, having it all is knowing and accepting that every single day is different. There are days I can balance work and life like a rockstar. There are days I can’t balance work and life for anything. And then there are the days I need help balancing anything at all!
Having balance becomes a matter of integrating the components of your life that are important to you and realizing that sometimes you need to make choices about what has to come first.
First for me will always be my family and (without sounding selfish) my own body/mind/soul.
As much as I love what I do, my family is my core. My husband and my children are my top priority in the work of balancing. I would rather spend a Friday night eating pizza on the floor of my living room, watching movies and listening to music than anything. Making sure that we have ample family time together is always important to me and it’s something I constantly try to balance on a regular basis in our lives. I have implemented 3 “rules” (so to speak) when it comes to my family life:
- No work on weekends unless it’s essential
- Work stops when the kids get home from school and until all homework is done
- Work will never interfere with birthdays/anniversaries/holidays
For me, taking care of myself – my body/mind/soul – is just as important as anything. I want to feel healthy, fit and confident in myself, too. I’ve always believed that everything is connected, so when I’m feeling stressed or chaotic with work/life balance – I always make sure I’m taking care of myself so I can handle the pressure. As I’m getting older, it’s becoming more and more essential to fit in the “me” time at the gym and at home. I’m seeing gray hairs, sagging skin, stretch marks and fine lines and wrinkles more and more as the time passes by! I like to make sure I’m doing what I can to “battle” these things:
- I have started working out regularly, which has been amazing for me. I feel like I can take on the world after a good run. I signed up for a ½ marathon for this November, so I do feel like I have some accountability on my hands. I need to be ready for it! I make sure to squeeze in (at least) 20 minutes every day! I can already see the differences in my body and it really helps my mind and soul, too!
- I started doing some meditation in the morning. Giving myself the time in bed for an extra 5 minutes to breathe in and out and reflect has done wonders for me.
- I started giving myself a little extra “primping time!” I set up regular appointments for my hair and nails! When I look good, I feel good and that definitely helps in the balancing my life category because it makes me happy.
- It’s funny, my son Henry asked me a few weeks ago what the “lines” were on my stomach. I told him they were stretch marks left from having everyone. He said, “Mom, they’re funny looking.” Now I know stretch marks are part of life, but I decided that if I could do something about them, I might as well try — especially with bathing suit season so close. So lately I’ve been obsessed with using Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy day and night to help them look better. And for all my pregnant mamas out there, it locks in moisture to help prevent them before you get them (just don’t start using it until you reach the second trimester). Again, when you feel good about yourself – you can take on the world with less stress and more strength to balance the work/life struggle!
Work is also a HUGE priority for me because it’s something I love, but it also pays all of our bills! Work is essential, so when it comes to finding that perfect work/life balance, my biggest suggestion – do something you love to do. I work all the time because my work is about my life. I have an easy time integrating work into my daily life because it’s something that is reflected throughout everything that I do. In order to make sure I’m balancing it well with my life, I’ve come to realize that there are some true sticking points for work:
- Setting up home office hours for myself
- When I am in work mode, it’s all about work mode. I can do this easily when the kids are at school and also when my daughter is sleeping.
- Hire help when it’s needed! This has certainly helped me balance my life more and more. I hired a virtual assistant this year and also a business manager. This has helped immensely!
- Knowing that it’s OK to love my job and work when I need to because my job supports our family. I try my best to express this to my children and have them understand what it is that I do for a living.
Balancing work/life isn’t always easy, but you can make your perfect version of it for yourself.
There are days I’m a great mom.
There are days I’m a great wife.
There are days I’m a great daughter/friend/sister.
There are days I’m a great businesswoman.
The beauty of balance is knowing that you can’t be everything at once, but you can prioritize and find what’s best for you and what makes you the happiest.
Can you have it all?
Yes, you can. On your own terms. You just need to know what those are for you life!
Disclosure: This is post is sponsored by Mederma. All opinions are 100% my own.