Do you feel like the start of 2013 has been a crazy whirlwind? I don’t know about you, but over here it’s been a little nuts. A lot of that has to do with the goals I told you about in the beginning of the year. I’ll go in to more detail about that in the newsletter on Tuesday, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, put your email address in the box on the right side of this page and hit subscribe.
In the meantime, I wanted to talk about balance… and I don’t mean being steady on your feet.
The importance of balance in keeping your home happy
After all that talk about being more selfish, you may be left wondering how to make it all work without coming out looking like an asshole. How do you go through the steps while simultaneously following the rules?
The secret is balance.
You really can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.
What I mean is, life is a give and take. You have to be willing to give as much as you take. That’s why rule number three is “say yes to personal responsibility”.
So, how does one go about achieving balance in their life?
I’m going to use myself as an example.
If you’ve been following along, you know things were getting a little hairy there for a while. They say your first baby will change your life… I say hold on to your hat sister, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! This is one time when one plus one DOES NOT equal two.
Additionally, I have been super focused on eating healthy and keeping processed, sugared garbage food out of my house. This means cooking real food dinners every night and grocery shopping every week in order to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. We’ve been trying to shop just once a week to avoid over-spending and to discourage last-minute processed food quickie meals… that means it takes a few hours start to finish when we do go.
All of my other time is spent working with clients, writing these posts, and making sure you have a little comedic relief in the form of a snarky comic each week.
Needless to say, Dane has found himself on the stinky end of diaper duty way more often than is fair. At the same time, I’ve been stressing about not spending enough time with the kids and feeling guilty that he never gets a break (even though rule #2 is ‘say no to guilt’).
I was spending all of my ‘free time’ shopping and cooking to the point that it wasn’t even fun any more (I usually love cooking). And every minute he wasn’t at work, he was with the kids. This is a recipe for disaster. (p.s. Dane is super daddy, but even super daddy needs a break every now and then.)
I don’t know if it was the very real threat of Dane’s head exploding, or the actual breaking of my heart when Reggie teared up and said in the most sincere two year-old lisp, “I wanna go wis you”, that I started to question whether or not it’s all worth it.
Can you go too far? Where is the line between being more selfish and being too selfish? And how do you choose?
On one hand, 631 is important. Not just to me, but to other people too. It’s not just some hobby that can be pushed aside. But, my family is the most important thing to me. So, then what? Does my family have to sacrifice for the greater good? Or, do I give up the mission?
Surely, there must be another option? Isn’t that what entrepreneurship is about? It’s somewhat disturbing to think that just as things are starting to rev up (i.e. my coaching packages and my health), I might have to stop because my family needs me more.
How do you choose between yourself and your family?
If you choose your family, you suffer. If you choose yourself, your family suffers? I don’t think so.
This must just be the first test of entrepreneurship. Time to get out of my box.
Turns out, I didn’t have to choose. When we actually stopped to think about our problem, we had a solution within a matter of minutes. Dane will do the grocery shopping on Saturdays while I stay with the girls. Then during the week, he’ll cook twice and I’ll cook twice so we can trade off playing with the girls at night.
Problem solved. He gets time alone. I get more time with the kids.
Looks like we got a couple of geniuses on our hands…
What we do have is two people who were really stressed out and too caught up in the grind to stop and think about the situation. That’s what happens, in life.
And sometimes they change without us and we’re left scratching our heads in despair, thinking we’re left with only two solutions – to keep going, or to quit.
But, I don’t think you always have to choose. If you know how to practice balance, you make it a habit to come up with a third solution… the one that works for everybody.
You don’t have to be a martyr. And your family doesn’t have to suffer for the cause. There is balance. It’s not always clear, but it is there. You just have to stop and think about it.
What is the third choice? Find it.