Balance Is Key
You must have balance in your life between time at home and time at work. It plays a major role in your happiness and quality of life.
How do you balance your work life with your time at home with your family? This is something I have had to learn – and learn quickly (and I’m still learning). My wife gave birth to twin babies last fall and we couldn’t be more excited. However, we heard from everyone to “get done what you need to now before the babies get here,” or my favorite, “get your sleep now.” We took these comments seriously and did our best to get stuff done around the house and get our sleep, as well as be prepared at work to try and get ahead.
By the time I got back to work from a few days off being at home taking care of my wife and the newborn babies, I felt like I was drowning. But I was lucky enough to have a great team around me to pick up the pieces and keep projects going. After the first week, I felt back in place and was comfortable, but once I got home every night, there was a big change. I could not just go sit down on the couch and take a load off and relax. I had other responsibilities to worry about, cleaning bottles, changing diapers, making bottles, feeding babies, changing diapers. The list goes on. By the time the babies were put to bed, I was completely drained (can’t even imagine how my wife felt), and to top it all off, once I was able to get sleep, I received a wake-up call from two crying babies! This went on throughout the night, for a few nights. Needless to say, the sleep I thought I had got before the babies got here was not enough.
The work days seemed to go faster, which most people might have been excited about. But I wasn’t, as I knew how much work needed to get done, especially going into the holiday season. I felt again like I was in a never-ending pit and that I needed to do something. I was able to convince my wife to let me come into the office over the weekend to get caught up on a few things and get ahead a little bit. That way, I could help out more at home with babies without worrying about the workload on my desk.
After taking that weekend to come into the office and get back on track, I felt like that was a perfect opportunity to change up some things and try to get a better balance between home and office. To do so, I knew I had to do the following:
• No matter how crazy the schedule might be at work and at home, some downtime MUST be built in. Now that the babies are four months old, their feedings, diaper changes, and sleep schedules aren’t so demanding, so we are able to spend much more quality time with them and each other.
• I have noticed a major decrease in time spent on social media or watching TV. These activities are not necessary and there are much more important and stress-relieving activities to do instead.
• We don’t tend to have many people visit, because our house doesn’t get the major cleaning it typically did before the babies were here. Although my wife and I are “clean freaks,” we know that this can come later. We would much rather spend the downtime with the babies rather than clean, clean, clean (Don’t get me wrong. Our house is still very clean.)
• Knowing how much work needs to be done at the office and at home, we have found that we just need to get moving and keep going!
• In addition to the point above to keep moving, it is important to say that relaxation is a must as well. I have found that you must give your body and your brain time to relax from the “to-do list.” Without it, you will find yourself overworked and drained – basically, back to where you started.
As I mentioned at the beginning this article, I’m still learning to balance this workload. It isn’t as easy as it once was, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m very lucky, and I look forward every day to wake up to those beautiful babies. Though I’m sad to leave them every day to head to work, I still find joy at the office moving forward in my career.