Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Balancing work, home and the babies

I love my red kitchen scale with a passion :)

Hmmm, so I've been back at work for just about two months now and as Saffy reminded me in a comment on a post a few days ago, it's time for an update.

The truth is that nothing is getting done to my high standards simply because there is not enough time.

I'm making BIG friends with "good enough" and having to do lots of self-coaching on myself.

I tell myself, "if I were coaching one of my clients what would I say?" and then I try to actually do it.

So I would say to clients (besides more specific guidance)...

• get as organised as possible
• get very clear on boundaries and keep saying no to non-essentials
• be very focussed... and the biggie...
• redefine your success

Get organised

I am one of the most organised people I know so this is probably the easiest one on my list.

Still I'm not as organised as I'd like to be.

E.g. before I used to check through kitchen cupboards on a weekly basis. Now I'm getting to it either when it drives me nuts or when I actually have a few minutes in the kitchen waiting for something to finish cooking and there are no bottles/ baby stuff to attend to. I have to stay in the kitchen while cooking because I get sidetracked if I leave the general area and then the food burns!

I'm still doing a weekly menu plan, grocery shop (well, that's D's responsibility) and am planning my weeks and days.

But then again, not cooking as much as I'd like although I do a big cook with 2 - 3 (4-portion) meals every couple of weekends.

What are your tips?

Set strong boundaries and say no

Usually I'm outstanding at protecting my time and energy (hey, I coach time management) BUT the family thing throws a huge spanner in the works. I would like to say "no you can't come visit, we're knackered" but then again, the grandmother deserves to see her grandchildren...

She comes every second week but stays for 6 hours at a time which just about does me in. I don't mind a weekly visit even but I feel 1 - 1 1/2 hours and then she needs to go. That's way easier for me to handle but of course, how do you communicate this? D agrees with me but says I'm putting him in a position. True.

Any suggestions?

With my business, I've totally stopped taking on clients and projects that I don't REALLY LOVE and want to do. And am getting really quick with my rejection emails :) because I get a lot of "would you like to do this JV with me?"-type things. Before I had the luxury of crafting a beautiful email but now, two sentences and I'm free!

I was chatting to my friend, Nat, who is SO great at this boundary thing since having her baby and she said something to me which stuck - it's about being more intentional in life. I love that.


I'm depending more and more on my little kitchen timer to keep me on track when I'm on the computer so I don't wander off and spend more time than I have when I should be sleeping.

My new rule is in bed by 11:00 (as at yesterday). Well, computer was off at 10:30 but only in bed at about 11.15. Still, better than before.

Redefine your success

I have lots to say about this with regards to work, babies, etc. so will leave it for another post. All along the "good enough" theme though.

I'm letting all of this marinate inside while I ponder these things ... (very woo-woo for me!) but I do need to write out a new success paragraph for my life and then the business, and make some new vision boards (now that's more like me!).

In closing (gee, this sounds like a business proposal)

  • I think the quest for balance thing is a constant challenge.
  • With the babies sleeping worse than they have been, I find I'm knackered in the mornings, get to work late with red eyes and messier hair than usual, and then do my thing fast and super-productive (the only good thing because I feel guilty). So am working more effectively (for how long though?!) but feel terrible and as a result, don't want to cook, clean, go to gym but I drag myself there anyway.
  • I don't have any of that "missing the babies" thing going on because I think like a man - when I'm at work, I'm at work mentally.
  • I also don't feel guilty once I leave work because I should be doing x and y at work. I've said before, the MINUTE I walk across that bridge (between my department and the lifts (elevators)), I'm thinking about what I need to do on the way home or at home. Lest you think I'm cold (hmm, probably am), that's when I start thinking about the babies.
  • I do feel like I'm ON THE GO all the time so once I became aware of this feeling, I consciously took time out last night (that's why I didn't blog) to veg and watch The Bold and The Beautiful (I don't want to hear it, people!) and a taped Oprah (we still live in the age of the video - I can't see the point of upgrading if my existing system works just fine :)) once the babies were asleep.

That's me - how are you doing the work-life balance, or life-babies balance, or just a general balancing act?

As usual, ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer you there too.

P.S. The reason I love Steadymom's 30-minute blog challenge is that it forces me to just get it all out instead of over-thinking my post :)

P.P.S. No cereal in last night's bottles and no change except Connor only woke twice!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that your friend is wise - it is about being more intentional, isn't it?

    I think you're doing amazingly. Seriously. And being a lil Miss Type A I can appreciate that you're struggling with letting go of perfection.

    I like that you can go to work and focus on work ("like a man" :p). That is good for your soul in that while you're there you can take pride that you're doing a great job - even if you are red eyed and frizzy haired.

    As for granny staying for 6 hours. If she wants to hang around I reckon that you should save up some of the weekly jobs - like the cupboard sorting/ironing etc etc until she comes around. Then maybe she could feel helpful by actually contributing to those tasks? Even if it's just her making you a casserole for the freezer - I reckon if she's going to insist on hanging around, milk it for all it's worth. If she doesn't want to help then I'd be giving her the short shift by saying that you have loads to do. Mean eh?

    Back to the intentional bit - I know that even I, with the 1 baby, am finding that I just don't have the time or energy for draining people at the moment - be they *friends* or family. So I've put all that on hold and I don't feel an ounce of guilt. That has freed me up no end.

    Oh and my one suggestion - can you order your groceries online and get them delivered? Would that save you both a little time?


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