Having a work life balance brings different meanings to different people. For some, it means having the financial freedom and sufficient leaves to go on holidays. For others it means having the peace of mind at night and weekends to not think or worry about work. For me, it simply means being able to balance my time and focus between my work and my family.
Being a mother of two young kids, this can sometimes be a bit tricky. I often find myself at home at night and weekends with the kids clamouring and climbing all over me while I am trying to look at my phone screen over the tangle of arms and legs that are piled atop my head and my fingers desperately trying to type in an urgent response to my boss' texts. A lot of these moments end in me snapping at the kids before locking myself in the toilet just so I can get a second to get my head together and send a proper reply. I know this isn't healthy but I'm only human and I get exasperated sometimes (read: most times).
I have made efforts to have a balanced life though. I come in really early in the morning so I would be able to leave earlier in the evenings. I do this so I would have the time to make dinner and still have some energy and daylight left to do activities with the kids. We normally go cycling, swimming or simply to the playground and just be together. This wasn't always the case. I used to get home late evening and would rush to cook dinner so my helper wouldn't have to stay back too late to help me clean up. By the time dinner is on the table I would be so exhausted and even reading a book to my kids felt like a chore.
I guess it all boils down to time management. This is something I am constantly learning. In the case of responding to texts by my superior’s off-hours, I have learned that a five-minute delay will not kill anyone. When a text comes in, I will occupy the kids with something and explain that 'Mama needs a minute to do a bit of work' before rushing off to the toilet and locking the door to respond to my bosses because let’s face it, I get the most privacy there. Other than that, I am pretty happy with my hours as it allows me that last few hours of the day to be what I am most happy doing- to be a mom.
Being present is very important, both at work and at home. When I am at work, I know my kids are in excellent care of those I trust and I am able to devote my time doing my tasks without worrying for their well-being and look forward to spending my evenings with my most favorite crowd in the world. To work life balance!!