As working moms, whether inside or outside the home, we are all familiar with the term work-life balance. I ammom of a six-year old and three-year old twins who was determined to prove to myself, colleagues and the world that work-life balance is attainable. That did not last long and I began to burn the candle from both ends. As a result, I began to fail on both ends. I did some soul searching and found out that instead of work-life balance it’s really about work-life integration. So what does work life integration look like?
As mom we wear many different hats, juggle many different responsibilities all while trying to maintain self-care. I have learned that real self-care begins with rest. Rest is vital to work-life integration because it allows you to recharge, refocus and regain your sanity. Instead of trying to do it all you take care of what’s most important and work on being present in the moment. For me that means taking a nap while the kids sleep instead of organizing the pantry. It also means utilizing resources such as online grocery shopping and pick up so that my time is spent on building my blog. Rest alleviates stress, allows you to think deeply and helps to bring perspective. We are not to be all things to everyone and to do everything. Now does this mean that sometimes we will run around like a mad woman? Yes, however do not allow yourself to constantly be on the go and on ten. Give your body, soul and mind the rest it deserves to be an effective wife, mom and business woman.
Freedom is the ability to make choices and decisions from a space of priority and importance. Work-life balance can complicate what it means to be free. It says that everything must be equal when we know that is not the case. As a result, you fall prey to making things appear in balance when in reality there are times when your job will get more attention than your family. Which in turn can lead to guilt which is bondage not freedom.Work-life integration says I will give more of myself this work project now, which will free me to give more of myself to my family later. This freedom eliminates guilt and opens the door to grace. So be free and let yourself off the hook. Again it will change your perspective and allow you to focus on what is most important.
Perfection is the enemy of freedom. It will have you cleaning the house at 2 am instead of resting because your parents are coming into town. You will sign up to be the classroom mom when you are currently the team lead for a new client. Perfection is oftentimes rooted in pride. Trust me, I am speaking from experience and it’s something that I battle almost daily. Mama, you are not called to be perfect. Have you ever considered a cleaning service for your home or purchasing cupcakes for your son’s class from Sam’s and calling it a day. Work-life integration says I need help to keep everything afloat and functioning well. We are not called to live in isolation and to do everything on our own. Ask for help, accept help, offer help to other mamas and let go of perfectionism.
Audience of one
I can be my biggest critic. It was really never about my family or my job. I felt like I had something prove. Instead of proving something I became irritable, easily annoyed and frustrated. I had to take a step back and during that time I realized that I was all wrong. I am blessed with a wonderful family and I have a job. Realizingthat I am loved and my ability to be a great wife, mom and employee have nothing to do with my abilities but Christ’s power and strength on the inside of me. When Christ became my focal point I became free, I was able to rest and my desire to have the perfect life was reshaped by His perspective. Colossians 3:17 says and whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. So now I am on a journey of living for Him and for His approval. If am making dinner for my family or sending an email I try to do it within the framework of His grace and love towards me. It doesn’t matter what other think or what they perceive to be true I know that my identity as a mom, wife and business woman are not found in what I do but who I belong too.
So mamas please remember that you are not in this alone. Start thinking integration instead of balance, take it one day at a time and revel in the Fathers love toward you.
Hi, my name is Felicia Tucker and I am a wife and mom of three. My world consists of fostering a healthy marriage and nurturing my children while integrating that into my career. It is never a dull moment! I am learning how to enjoy the small moments, not sweat the small stuff and go to sleep with the toys strewn over the living room floor. Read more from me: https://myfordgirls.com.
Facebook: The Ford Girls @myfordgirlsco