Updated: Mar 19, 2019
I'm currently sitting at a coffee shop, staring blankly at the screen, wondering how on earth to start this blog. I've written probably 10 first sentences, but none of them seem to be right. How does one start to talk about balancing mom life and work life? I've come to the conclusion that, just like parenting, maybe there isn't just one answer. I'm just going to start. And if I ramble on and on, I'm sorry. There's just so much to say!
Mom life is HARD work. Anyone who says it isn't the hardest thing she's done is lying. From the moment I found out I was pregnant (June 2, 2015) my life changed. It's like becoming part of a club that you never knew existed. It's been a roller coaster of ups and downs. It's baby's first giggles, first words, first steps, I love you's, and tons of hugs and kisses. It's also sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, being peed/pooped/thrown up on, punched, kicked, bitten. It's constant worry about if you're doing the right thing for your kid, or if they're okay when you're not with them. It's learning when to let go and allow them to fail. And then hugging them tight when they do and assuring them that all will be well. Freaking hard.
Stylist life: ALSO HARD! From the start, you have to be super confident because you will be broken down. By clients, fellow stylists, and partners who just don't understand why you can't work 9-5 like everyone else. When not doing hair, there are hours (and lots of money) involved in continuing education to stay current and push yourself to be better. It also takes a big investment in time to put yourself out there and promote yourself. When I started doing hair it was simply by handing out business cards, but now....NOW it's all about social media, websites, email marketing, networking events...it's like having a second job. It's about always being your best self in front of your clients, even when you haven't slept, you're sick, or you just don't feel like it. The show must go on.
I think we all strive for that perfect work-life balance. But I honestly don't think it exists. Although I try my damndest to make it happen! Since October I've been using a planner. I have my life roughly planned through mid-summer at this point, and I spend about an hour every Sunday planning out each week. I made a commitment to myself that I would make it happen. That I would make sure I had adequate work time, class time, and family time - oh and don't forget the chores! And I thought I was doing amazing at it! Until my husband dropped a bomb on me.
I noticed the last couple of weeks that he's been irritated with me, so I finally sat down and asked him what was up. "I feel like you're choosing your work over [our son]," he said. Cue: instant tears. Here I was thinking I was killing it, and I wasn't. My heart shattered into a million pieces. Not because he said the words, but because I knew that if he felt it, our three year old did, too. That wasn't acceptable. I spent much of that night not sleeping; trying to figure out what to do about it. The next morning I was supposed to sleep in (it was my day, after all), but I just couldn't. The mom guilt I already had had before now had a magnifying glass on top of it and the only voice I heard was my husband's. You're choosing work over C. So I got up, and I hugged my little guy super tight. And I asked him, "Do you think Mommy works too much?" "Yeah." Ouch.
So back to the drawing board I went. I've now committed to waking up before the rest of the family to work on my two online courses I'm enrolled in, writing my blogs, checking my emails, planning my social media posts, and doing anything that is work related. I'm probably going to hate it, because I'm not a morning person. AT. ALL. But, this is what moms do; we make tough choices that we don't always like so that we can be there for our family.
To the mom reading this right now, nodding your head in solidarity: It doesn't matter how many times you go back to the drawing board, or change your plan. It doesn't matter if you get angry or cry. You are not alone, and that perfect life balance you're striving for doesn't exist. As soon as you think you're there, you have to start again. And that's okay. Your family, your kids - they'll love you anyway. After all, you're MOM and that's awesome.