Over half of my followers on twitter consider Work Life Balance to be the hardest thing to get right. Interestingly, I completely disagree. (sorry sorry! Don’t leave, tweeps)
For me, it is very simple. Family comes first.
They have to. I love them. I would drop anything in a heartbeat if they needed me. And I know that there is never ever going to be an end of that To Do list at the office — it will never be emptied, it will never be completed, so I better find a way to get comfortable with never being “finished”.
So how do I not drown in guilt?
I decided to be okay with the choices I make. If I decided to be home, then I will not allow myself to feel guilty that I am missing the meeting/trip/congress (fill in your chosen one). There is no point, right? I have made the decision, and nobody is going to be happier because I am feeling guilty. And vice versa: if I am on business, I am on business. Kicking myself for being a bad mother isn’t going to make my kids love me more, or bring them any more fond memories.
Does it always work? Of course not. But it is a hell of a good step in the right direction.
Now, you are probably grinding your teeth and muttering that it is easy for me, I am my own boss. And you are of course right in that. But please don’t forget that I have the entire companys’ success to think about. When I was employed and screwed up, I could get fired. If I screw up now, EVERYONES job is gone.
Find a boss who gets it. And if that isn’t happening, come talk to me. Perhaps we can start a business together?