Sunday, October 27, 2013

Work-Life Balance

As a single mom with a stressful job, right now I feel like all I do is work, work, work. And that needs to change. I need more balance in my life.

Christopher and I are out of the house every morning by 7:15. I drop him off at school then rush to the train station so I could get to work downtown by 8am. I generally start responding to emails via Blackberry while I'm on the train, so really I start working by 7:45 every day.

Work is so busy right now and I often work hard from the minute I walk in until the minute I leave at the end of the day, with only quick restroom breaks. I usually bring my lunch so lunchtime consists of me walking to the kitchen grab my homemade soup from the refrigerator so I can eat it at my desk while working.

I leave around 4:40, rush to the train, drive to Christopher's school to get him by 5:30. Then we're home and I need to walk the dog, make dinner, clean up, give Christopher a bath, read books and kiss my kiddo good night. Then I need to walk the dog, complete any outstanding tasks and then climb into bed usually by 9:30 for lights out by 10:00.

During a normal day, I am running from the minute I wake up at 5:45 until the minute I drop into bed at 9:30 and with lights out by 10, that means I have 30 minutes to myself a day. That's rough and that needs to change.

The weekends really aren't much better. I get to "sleep in" on Saturdays--until 7am--but then we're rushing to get to soccer by 8:30. I'm the assistant soccer coach so I try not to be late although, punctuality isn't always my strength. We have an hour and a half of soccer, then after that a small break, then it's 45 minutes of swim class in the early afternoon. After that, it's usually grocery shopping and other errands. Then I'm home, walking the dog, making dinner, playing with Christopher, books and then bed. For both of us.

I was invited to multiple Halloween parties last night but didn't go to either because I was so exhausted. I hoped a good night sleep would serve me well but my upstairs neighbor had a HUGE party that lasted until 3am and so sleep did not happen. Somehow Christopher slept through most of it but did finally wake up at 2:30. So today's going to be rough for both of us. Ugh.

I need more work-life balance. Something really needs to change and I've decided that I need to be more firm about leaving work on time. I had hoped that working all these hours would result in a promotion at work but that did not happen although to my manager's credit, I know she did take it all the way up to the Partner level but was unfortunately denied. I could probably get promoted 2014 but that's a whole year away. Meanwhile, I'm working crazy hours and have very little to show for it, except for a lot of exhaustion.

So here's my plan. I'd like to get this into writing because maybe I'll actually follow through on it and not allow myself to get caught up in the daily grind that wears me out.

  1. Show up at work at 8am and leave no later than 4:15
  2. Work from home at least twice a month. This will eliminate the 45-minute commute each way meaning I will have an extra 90 minutes per day to get personal stuff done. How nice it would be to be able to clean the house on occasion!
  3. Hire a cleaner who can come once a month. I'm tired of looking at counter tops and appliances that need a good scrubbing. Time to hire someone to do this for me
  4. Accept party invites. I need a personal life

I do have a babysitter coming this afternoon so I can go shopping with a girlfriend. So that's good. I do need to do stuff like this more often though and hopefully I can stick to this plan. It'll be too easy to slip back into old routines but I can't do that. I need to start looking out for me more.

Now it's time to make my kiddo some breakfast and take him on a morning adventure before the babysitter gets here at 1pm. Then it's off to shop, early dinner and cocktails. I'm excited for that!

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