The Work-Life Balance Myth (for mamas)

I often hear other working mothers discuss how difficult it is to raise a family and simultaneously hold down a career. And I'm here to say, "AMEN SISTERS."

They're right. They're ALL right. It is hard. Real hard. So hard, that some days just feel heavy. Don't get me wrong, there are days where you can really let your hair down, and truly enjoy the moment. I mean, it's not all chaos. But there are other days where you'll visit the Chick-fil-a drive thru more than once (guilty). And days where the laundry gets refreshed 5 times, but never folded (You know who you are. Also guilty). And other days where a shower is out of the question before 10pm, but you're so tired. Too tired. So, you just tell yourself, "I'll tackle that tomorrow," while generously applying Cherry Blossom body mist. Trust me, there will be those days...

I recently exchanged emails with a fellow designer (who I really admire), and he curiously asked what my workday looks like. He wanted to know how I build relationships with my customers, "create such elaborate products" and basically, juggle it all. I believe his exact sentiment was, "Honestly, I don't know how you do it."

Well, I don't.

And I don't want to pretend to either. Giving false hope to other working moms, is the last thing I want to do. I want to be honest. And real. And I want people to be forgiving of me, when it's 8:00pm and a support request rolls in as I'm trying to get my son to bed. Because I'm sooooo tired at 8:00pm. And I'm probably still wearing yoga pants, with a sink full of dishes waiting for me. And the last thing I want to do is explain how to install a font, or give a refund because someone doesn't have Photoshop. At this point, the business-owner in me says, "just answer the request and go back to what you were doing," but the logical, exhausted mom in me says, "just deal with it in the morning." And then there's 4% of me that just wants to set my computer on fire.

And you know what, 9 out of 10 times, the 'business-owner' wins. Because, customer service or something like that. And part of me feels guilty for answering the request. And another part of me feels guilty if I don't. It's a lose-lose situation, but it's one I signed up for. I just roll with the punches around here.

But despite the endless 'to-do' list, the stressful moments, the missed moments, the 'mom guilt,' the 10 pounds you're still trying to lose, but can't find time to workout, the brimming inbox, and the proverbial juggling act, there's one thing that makes me feel better...the fact that EVERY SINGLE working mom I talk to, shares the EXACT SAME sentiment.

Nobody has this game figured out. And if you do, I'd like to meet you, because you are about as rare as a unicorn. Can I rub up against you for good luck? Maybe you can go with me to buy a lottery ticket?

Some days, you may feel like a well-oiled machine, where everything just falls into place, but those moments are fleeting. I'm here to tell you, there's no such thing as the 'work-life balance.' It simply doesn't exist. You do what you have to do to survive, and don't feel guilty about it. That's called, life.

So, take heart working-moms, you're doing great. Give yourself a pat on the back. And don't feel bad if you need to feed the kids chicken nuggets again tonight. It happens. They'll be fine. ;)