Its midnight and it is chucking it down outside! The great old British weather at its best!
I’m sat at my desk working and it’s a Friday night. You might think that there is something very wrong with this image. Surely I should either (a) be tucked up in bed trying to get as much sleep before my lovely little darlings wake me up at some god awful hour or (b) partying the night away with my friends who are lucky enough not to be burdened down with such concerns as nappies, feeding times or reduced socialising? Actually in time honoured tradition of all women out there, I’m multi-tasking! Trying to manage the business whilst ordering some new clothes for Daughter No. 1 who seems to have a growth spurt every day at the moment! There just doesn’t seem enough time in the day to fit everything in! Have I achieved any sense of work /life balance?
We are bombarded with articles in the papers about how women are supposed to be able to have it all; how women now make up the greater precentage of university graduates; how we are climbing the corporate ladders faster than ever before! Ya di ya di ya! Has anyone ever stopped to wonder how we are supposed to have it all? Career: yes tick I managed that (well sort of until I had kids and then started a business). A clean house: well by and large with some help (but don’t ask my mother’s opinion!). Two well-behaved polite girls: mmm, ask me in about 20 years and I’ll let you know. Time for myself and my husband: mmm, we shared a bottle of prosecco tonight when the children had gone to bed so yes, if that counts, tick so for all intents and purposes I think I managed that. He’s now watching a movie! How exciting are we?
Do I think I’ve got both sides of the equation to work? Have I got a work/life balance? Hell no! Its a constant juggling act and anyone who tells you that it is easy is kidding themselves or lying. I’m forever trying to remember things that I have forgotten or apologising for appointments that I have missed. I feel constantly guilty about not spending enough time with my children. And then I feel torn when I am with my children that my colleagues and employees aren’t being supported enough in an ever changing demanding business! I even managed to go out today without my wallet or my house keys which meant my poor lunch guest had to pay not only for my lunch but also my petrol. I then had to scramble around my back door trying to find some spare keys (and no, that isn’t really where they are! I’m not that stupid!)
I guess what I’m trying to say in this blog is no, its not easy and sometimes 1 and 1 doesn’t make 2 and the equation doesn’t work but just remember that ultimately it is a question of choice. I decided upon this life. I decided to try and mix children with setting up my business. If I suffer from guilt, it is entirely of my own making. Women can have whatever we want, as little or as much as we decide but it is our choice and our work/life balance is what we choose it to be. It might not be everything we ideally want but it is in our control to choose which parts of the equation we want and those we’d rather just leave aside or perhaps not think about for a while. Ultimately I think we can get both sides of the equation to work for us! It might just take a bit of cheating to get us there! 🙂