Last week was a breaking point for me. Sandy (!@#$%!!) threw my schedule (like so many) off and I had to commit to extra days of work in order to get my work done. While I was overseeing one project I was receiving emails and calls regarding other projects that needed solutions immediately. On top of this I was told I needed to have a story done in two weeks. I am traveling for work next week and then on vacation. I explained that the traveling they asked me to do was going to put me behind and the vacation I asked for (8 months ago) would make it impossible for me to meet their deadline. I was told that I had to figure it out. I basically started to hyperventilate, calmed myself down, called one of the highest managers in my company I could called and told her no. I will not meet the deadline. That the travel they asked me to do was why I was behind and the vacation was not going to be a working vacation, it would be one that only focused on my child which is why I am taking it and I would not be working from home. I asked that my deadline be pushed or that they hire someone else to do my job. I was given the extension of the deadline. When I returned home I basically was in tears as I told my husband about my day. I voiced my concerns that saying no may cost me my job. As we sat and talked it out and came to the conclusion I that I wasn’t willing to say yes to everything if the cost was time with my family. I’m not quite sure what exactly balance is for the working mom or even the mom who stays at home for work is work . I know that the definition of balance is still something I am constantly defining and as I had the weekend to regroup I am feeling a bit better about the choices I am making. I definitely need (and like!) my job however as my husband reminded me, we are always fine and I turn down freelance work. That having boundaries is what every relationship needs, including a work relationship. The truth is when I made the leap of telling my job what I could and couldn’t do they agreed to work with what I could do.
Working on balance doesn’t mean that a glorious song breaks out in your head or you will instantly feel unburden. I find it to be uncomfortable actually- for I have been agreeing to things for so long. Like most change it can feel uncomfortable until it becomes more learned. What balance is for me, now that I have this little person in my life, is that he is affected by the choices I make. For him I am willing to stray out of my comfort zone for I truly believe this is what being a mother is all about.