Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finding some balance

This season in life is a weird one. Some days I feel like I have everything figured out, and I do a good job of balancing all that is going on and all the "hats" I am wearing right now: I can be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a coworker, a friend... all at once. And other days I feel like I can barely keep it together enough to be any one of those things, let alone all of them! I'm sure that's how most new moms feel, but it is definitely requiring some mental adjustments to let myself figure out how to live this version of life. There are times when it feels like I've been doing this forever, and other times I remind myself that I have literally only been a mom for 8 months, and that is such a tiny piece of time. There is no rush to have it all figured out quite yet.

I've been back at work for about five months now, and while we have a good routine, and I am very lucky to have a very flexible environment and understanding team, some days it feels like I can barely keep it all together to make it work. I got two pieces of good advice recently, one from a random blog and one from a coworker. The random blog said, you can be a great mom and a great employee, but you will likely never be great at both at the same time. That really resonated with me - if I am being great at one of those things, I am likely just being good at the other... and that is okay! Sometimes I'm being a great worker. Sometimes I'm being a great mom. Neither is suffering when I'm just being good, though. I have to give myself a little grace and understanding, and know that being good is good enough.

A few days after I read that blog post (really wish I could remember the source.. oops. Mom brain!), I had a meeting with my career manager / mentor at work. We were supposed to be discussing my current career goals. Over coffee, I was completely honest with her and told her that, truth be told, I really don't have any career goals right now. My goal is to keep doing my job while I figure out how to be a mom. Wouldn't you know, she looked right at me and said, "Your goal is to tread water. And treading water is okay!" I needed so badly to hear that from her. She is a mom and an employee with many more years experience under her belt, and she understands where I am in life right now - so lucky for me! I needed someone to tell me that, right now, I don't need to be setting giant lofty goals and trying to propel myself forward. Instead, I need to learn how to maintain and keep my head above water. You can't keep swimming forward if you don't know how to just keep from drowning to start with! So here I am. Treading water. And it's okay. I will do the best I can, of course, and do the best work I can, but also admit to myself that some (most) days the 80% solution will have to do instead of the 100% solution. That is a little bit hard to come to terms with, but I'm working through it mentally. I have many years ahead of me to learn how to do everything really well again! For now, I'll just keep treading water. 

This sweet boy makes it all worth it - I know I will look back on this time later and barely remember the things I thought were so difficult. He is such a joy to us!


StephTheBookworm said...

I get it 100%. My son is 19 months old and I've been back at work since he was 9 weeks old. I want to give 100% to everything - my son, my husband, my job, my house, my hobbies.... but it's just impossible. It's exhausting trying, too. For now, all I can do is just my best.

Sharon Cooper said...

Well I might be a wee, teeny, tiny bit prejudiced but I think you and C are doing a great job! Big learning curve, I know. The little guy is thriving and that is proof to me that you are doing it right! He is the priority right now. He is blessed to have two loving parents who realize that!!