Balancing Act

4 May

During my first couple of years in the profession, and especially when I was pregnant with Baby Beez, I spent a lot of time worrying about work/life balance.  I was worried over how I could achieve it, whether I could achieve it, and what would happen if I couldn’t.  Most of my law friends are just starting to have kids, and since I’ve managed to keep a child alive and healthy for nearly two years, all while not getting myself fired, I have been asked a few times over the last few months “HOW do you do it?”….  As though I know what I am doing.  Poor souls, asking me for advice…

Here are my words of “wisdom” for soon-to-be or working moms and dads:

1. Stop worrying about work/life balance.  You don’t even have to actively put it out of your mind.  With a small screaming person wrecking havoc, you quickly get too tired to have that worry anymore.  Balance doesn’t exist, and you’ll get over it. All you can do is do the best you can.

2. This is my secret for getting through the day:  Get up, figure out what I have to do for the day, scramble around like a crazy person trying to get as much of it done as possible, crash in bed.  One day at a time baby, one day at a time.

3.  As kids get bigger, they totally get easier.  When Baby Beez was under six months old, it was all I could do to make it through the workday and take care of her.  The idea of packing a lunch was completely overwhelming and impossible.  Forget dinner, we did a lot of take out, because the stress of cooking for myself was too tiring and overwhelming.  As the kid gets bigger, she entertains herself more, and she’s much more independent.  You gradually regain the ability to function as an adult.  Really, you do. I promise.

4. Don’t feel bad about sending your kid to daycare.  I was so worried that I’d feel guilty.  Now, the idea of guilt just seems ridiculous.  Baby Beez is spending her day with trained professionals who keep her happy and engaged ALL DAY.  She is making friends! She is making messes that I don’t have to clean up! And I don’t feel bad plopping down on the couch with her to watch Elmo in Grouchland in the evening, because I know she’s spent all day long playing and learning.  Daycare is awesome, embrace it!

5.  Keep being yourself.  Hang out with your friends.  Do the grown up things you like to do.  Quality time with your little one is invaluable, but so is quality time with friends and grown-ups.

Have you let go of the idea of “balance”?

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4 Responses to “Balancing Act”

  1. Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC May 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Your posts always seem to come at the right times 🙂 And I LOVE this one.

    A lot of my friends are either not married, engaged or married without kids (only a handful). I have two couple friends with 1 year olds – one couple are husband/wife attorneys. Aside from that, most friends can’t really relate to the demands of this profession – billables, working long hours, etc. Or the demands of juggling it with a marriage. I find myself freaking about the “balance” issue now that a baby is in the possible future. I have an awesome, family-friendly job that I love but still need to get the billing down so that I’m not here late every night. Your post is perfect though. You (not “you” but just people in general) need to not stress about finding that balance and just go with the flow, trusting that it will come. Adding a new person to the mix, especially an infant, takes adjustment and re-learning how to manage things. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible!

    • BeezusKiddo May 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      I don’t know if this is an option for your office, but one of the MOST helpful options I have at my office is the ability to work remotely. I am in the office usually from 7:45/8 am to 5:30/6pm, but then I go home and get to spend a couple hours with the little one, and I am able to work remotely from home when needed (which is very frequent). Also, weekends inevitably involve work, but because I can work remotely, I can do the work at home instead of hauling into the office, which makes a BIG difference.

      Thanks for the praise 🙂

      • Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC May 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

        Thankfully it is! That was one of the biggest pluses of switching jobs. Before interviewing, I googled my partners name. Turns out she wrote a bunch of articles for one of the local bar associations focusing on parenting as a professional. I’m in our firms smallest office – I’m one of only 3 attorneys at the office. The other two are both mid to late 30s, mothers of 2 kids. They live in the area so don’t need a flex environment but I know they’ll understand better than other firms (especially male partners). I’m hoping to either work like your hours or even get 1 day a week at home or out of the NYC office.

  2. soniabgill May 5, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    You are way too humble!

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