Saturday, November 7, 2009

WAHM: Juggling It All And Enjoying Life

I am asked all the time, "how do you do so much and how do you have any time leftover to enjoy the fruits of your efforts?" Well, it's not always easy (okay, it's never actually 'easy' but some days go more smoothly than others) but with practice, failures and persistence it is possible to work at home and raise a family without losing your mind.

#1: Practice
Practice makes perfect? Well, in our house, we like to say that practice makes better and practice gives you a clear picture of what you're good at and what you might want to consider moving on from. As Einstein put it (and I'm paraphrasing here), you cannot judge how smart a fish is by how well it climbs a tree. In other words, we all have our strengths and our challenges. Practicing our routines and abandoning what doesn't work can help us stregthen those things that are working. While some families can wake up early, have a fabulous breakfast and be off to carpool, school and back home to work; others are going to need to evaluate the reality of rolling out of bed to cook a big meal with no coffee and very little time. I'm not a morning person (ahem, check the blog name) and oatmeal and coffee get us through our morning and out the door on time. Every once and awhile my kids get a treat and wake up to pancakes. This is rare. Learn what works for you and then practice it like your life depends on it...because, in a way, it does.

#2: Failure
Try something new with your juggling act. Don't be a fraid to fail as these failures often teach us more about what we need to do then success really does. If a part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine feels like it could use a change then, by all means, change it! Maybe it will be exactly what you needed and maybe it won't. You won't know unless you try and without trying you will be stuck with what you already have (which we've already appraised isn't working for you and yours). Failing isn't the end of the road. Keep experimenting and know that you will find your mojo. And know that once that mojo is found, it will work for about two weeks and then everyone and everything will change and you'll need to once again attempt and fail a few times to find your new rhythm. Such is life, whether your a WAHM or a WOHM.

#3: Persistence
Ah, persistence. This is probably the most important attribute for a WAHM, second only to talent...scratch that, it's second to none. While plenty of talented writers, business owners and other entreprenuers attempt to plant themselves firmly in WAHM life, this place is reserved for those with persistence. The persistence to weather the great cashflow times and the famine times as well. Those who can persist when the routine is altered, because it will be, will be a driving force in the WAHM movement...or they'll at least find a perfect niche because they never gave up. Persist in setting routines and rhythms for your family. Once you find what works for you, like coffee and oatmeal, don't be persuaded to change it unless absolutley necessary. I love the comfort that comes from the stability of our routines. The ability to stick with it and persist are also great things to teach my kids. Lead by example and all that.

Okay, so now we have a firm grasp on the juggling what about the enjoying life part? A well-juggled (my own phrase, like it?) career, family and social life can be it's own reward. Above that, it's important to look up. Be mindful as days pass and grow into years. Take time to walk a bit more slowly and watch your children play. Read a good book that doesn't relate to your business. Savor your drink of choice whether it be coffee, tea or a good red wine. And never take yourself to seriously.