Life, parenting

Finding Balance in the Every Day

Well, somehow, we made it to November 30th – my last day of blogging for the month. I missed only two days, not too bad!

And I didn’t stress Mr. KK out too much either, so that’s a win in this house.

I usually use this post to do some sort of wrap up of the blog month, or of the year that is so quickly coming to an end, or my perspective on the year ahead. One year I wrote what could be the first chapter of my novel. Sometimes we celebrate my cancer-versary.

This year, I just wanted to share that I’m having trouble finding balance: balance of my work, mom, wife, and “me” lives.

One hypothesis is that we are fully back to “normal” and life is busy again and the juggling is even harder. Another thought is that I’m a year older and it’s just harder, if that’s possible. Or, I’m prioritizing different things and that is tugging at my psyche.

You should know that I really like my job. I work for a surrogacy and egg donation agency as a Marketing Director, and I manage our company’s brand, website, and oversee all of our paid and organic marketing, social media, marketing materials, you name it. I have such passion for what we do: enabling those who cannot be parents on their own to have the child(ren) they’ve dreamed of. It’s pretty powerful, especially compared to my last job at a marketing agency where I was selling M&M’S.

The thing about work is that it just never ends. I am hella busy, and it’s hard finding a stopping point each day. There’s always one more web page I could create, or another email I could answer. But if I don’t stick to a schedule, my work life will start to creep into my home life, when I must turn the switch from Boss to Mom. It’s bad enough that Little Mister is home a solid hour plus before my work day even ends, it’s like moving mountains to get him to do homework while someone isn’t sitting next to him, all while trying to keep him off of every electronic device within 30 miles.

If I stop working at 5pm (which honestly feels like the middle of the day since emails continue to roll in until 8pm or 9pm) then it’s immediate Mom mode. We need to get homework done, maybe play with Little Mister, get dinner together, eat and clean up, Little Mister watches a show, then the bedtime routine with 20 minutes of reading under the covers. And that’s if we don’t have an activity after school, like Scouts or Basketball. Even a haircut could throw a wrench in the mix. Once Little Mister is tucked away in bed, I usually hop on the computer again to address any urgent needs, or finish the project I left hanging a few hours ago. If it’s November, it’s also time to write a blog post, unless I did that early in the morning before work, which means I did that instead of going kickboxing. But there are mornings that I can’t kickbox AND shower before work (not enough time!) so I have to choose between them. This time of year I’m trying to get holiday shopping done online (who has time to go to a store??), and before bed is the time to do it, especially if I need Mr. KK’s input. Sometimes we’ll watch 10 minutes of a show before I fall asleep (and many nights, we are re-watching the same 10 minutes 3 days in a row because I just can’t keep my eyes open).

Let’s not forget there are things that I like to do, even if I don’t do them that often. Like getting a manicure, or mindlessly wandering the aisles of Target, or reading. Or vacation planning. Or party planning. Or changing my closet for the seasons. Or folding the basket of clothes that’s been staring at me for a week. (Am I the only one who eventually wears enough clothes out of the clean basket until it’s a manageable size to put away?)

That’s a long-winded way of saying: there’s just not enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do!

Since we didn’t win the billion dollar lottery, and Mr. KK tells me I have about 137 more years of working until I can retire, how can I find balance.

As I said, I love my job, but good lord I would retire TOMORROW if I could. I think about my parents and in-laws who are all retired and have every day to themselves to do things and it makes me sad (for me) and jealous (of them). They can go to lunch whenever they want! They can organize a closet on a Tuesday afternoon! Get a manicure on a Thursday morning. Hit the gym at noon on Friday. If I have to wait until I’m of retirement age (probably in my 90s according to Mr. KK), I won’t have the energy to do anything!

I want to be retired now while I have interests and hobbies, and the strength and mobility to DO things. I don’t want to be bent over and frail when I finally have all the time in the world to enjoy life. I will have missed everything I’m looking forward to!

I even have a short list of retirement jobs that I think I’d be great at:

  • Personal grocery shopper
  • Audio book narrator
  • Vacation planner
  • Food/shopping/travel blogger
  • Novelist (finally!)

I know I’m not alone. How does everyone find balance to the point that they feel they are giving the appropriate % of themselves to everyone and everything in their lives? So that no one feels slighted, even yourself? That you feel like you’re contributing well to work and enriching your child’s life? That you’re present even when you can’t be present?

That’s what I’m carrying into 2023 with me: how to find better balance. Finding the time to work out, be a good mom (whatever that means), be a superstar at work, be a great wife, all while squeezing in time for myself so I can stay sane.

I wish you all luck finding your balance in 2023! Until next year!