Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Work Life Balance

Whether you are a stay-at-home mum or a working mum it's hard. Hard to leave your children and hard to look after them all day. They want entertaining all of the time and feeding and cleaning.  I'm back at work. Three days a week. I love it. I love the balance I have. I have time with N and I have time for me (well sort of for me) at work. Work is busy. I'm basically fitting five days work in three but for me it's better than working the five days so I'll take it. Sometimes, at work, I feel like I am continually playing catch up but I hope that once I have been back for a few months I will be a little more on top of things. I have to say I am probably more reactive rather than proactive these days. Before N, at work, I used to wonder why people didn't respond within 48 hours (and that was me being patient - I had no patience). For me there was no such thing as too busy. Make the time I used to think to myself. Now I know why emails can be left unanswered. Thinking about unanswered emails still leaves me in a cold sweat. Those two days that I am not in the office those pesky emails they build up, despite my out of office I know they are there waiting to be answered. But as I get used to this new life change I am sure I will get used to it.

What I do find difficult is having to start and leave work at exact times (because of the nursery drop offs and pick ups). There is no staying ten minutes late to finish a piece of work. So I write lists. Constantly. And with two days off a week I find I forget everything so the lists are necessary.

The work life balance can be difficult to achieve especially when you have the capacity to work from home. I find it easy to switch off from being a mum at work (unless N is a little under the weather) because I'm busy and don't have much time to think... but at home there are the odd moments when I have thought about those unanswered emails. Pre N I rarely thought about work after hours, and I hope to get to that state of mind again. I thought I would be able to work on a manuscript (Dark Waters) that I wrote before N's arrival, but I feel like I just don't have the brain power to do it, not along with everything else. Something has to give - another sacrifice has to be made so that I don't burn out. So that I stay sane and have that work life balance. It's funny isn't it - we have children and then immediately want to get back to what we were doing before - we want it all. Something has to give! Well, at least, for me it has to.

At the moment one of my publishers is winding up and so I have been busy working on the the re-release of Poison in the Water. That is taking up some of my writing time. As much as I would like to work on Dark Waters I know I shouldn't. I need to rest my brain a little.  I am also eagerly awaiting the critique on my current work-in-progress Jackpot Jetty and will work on that in the near future. Dark Waters may never see the light of day. It pains me to not be writing/editing something at the moment but perhaps a break for a few months will do me good. I have this blog and soon Jackpot Jetty to work on.

In the meantime I am getting on the self-care bandwagon (meditation is so last year...) and have just completed a course (online - Udemy is great for mums or anyone that wants to learn in bite size chunks) in Pranayama - yogic breathing. Something to add to my yoga practice - when I get around to doing some regular yoga again. I love learning (yep, geek) and so a work life balance means not just work, being a mum and a writer but learning as well - doing something different. I recently read an article about portfolio careers that millennial favour. It basically said that millennials like having several careers on the go at the same time. I get that. Blogging may not be a career or learning about yogic breathing but who knows where it might lead. And doing short courses always helps with my writing. In Jackpot Jetty one of the main characters is a yoga teacher so Pranayama is relevant!

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