It seems I'm always striving (just like any other working mom) to find a good work/life balance. The image above is truly the best representation of all of the things that we're trying to juggle & find time for. These are all things that are important to me. Of course my family is my top priority & sometimes, I know that they do not get the best of me because I stretch myself too thin but I'm getting much better & figuring out how to do a better job of balancing my job & my life outside of work.
I'm realizing that Sundays MUST be a day to prepare mentally & physically for the week ahead. Here's my plan for Sundays:
- check my calendar for the week ahead
- plan my workouts
- plan my wardrobe
- prep food for the week - fruit & veggies washed, cut up & put into containers or baggies for easy access. I also find that doing this means these things actually get eaten!
- menu plan - my husband now does 90% of the cooking since he works from home full time. It's fantastic because I often walk in the door to the smell of dinner cooking. We plan the week's menu together
- make sure the house is as clean as it can be to start the week
- get ALL laundry put away & done. Now we all know that laundry & dishes are never really DONE but you get the picture here.
I'm also planning my days out now. I am on the board for an organization that is my true passion & right now, there's a LOT going on with that organization & it's requiring a lot of my attention. I'm also training for a 1/2 marathon so making time to run & workout is (and has to be) a priority. I email my boss my schedule for the week in terms of when I'll be in the office each Monday. I've done a little re-working with my schedule & reduced my lunches to a 1/2 hour now which I'm finding makes a huge difference! My days look a lot like this now.
4:40 a.m. - up & get ready for the gym.
5:00-6:00 a.m. - workout - Running Tuesday, Wednesday (long mid-week run), Thursday. Monday & Friday are off days for running. Those days I walk on the treadmill then do circuit training)
6:10-6:45/7:15 a.m. - shower & get ready for work, wake up daughter, light cleaning, laundry
7:00/7:30-4:00/4:30 - work (Mon-Thursday) - I am off early every Friday because I bank the extra hours from earlier in the week
4:45 - dinner, homework help, etc.
5:15 - leave for soccer practice - DD has practice until 6:45 two nights a week right now. While she's at practice I either run errands or walk.
You get the picture --- Usually one night a week I have a meeting for the non-profit I volunteer for, then there are doctor & dentist appointments, etc. Now we're adding soccer games to the evenings. Planning the day is now pretty much critical to making sure things don't slip through the cracks & it all gets done. Well, most of it gets done anyway. I also try to fit in time with my friends & Fridays are date nights. Since I get off work early on Fridays we often do our weekly trip to Sam's together, have dinner & drinks somewhere & are back home by 7 or so. This works pretty well for us & our daughter enjoys having the house to herself for a few hours. Now the weekends --- well, those are sort of a hot mess & sometimes, the days are planned down to the minute which makes me cherish the weekends where we have nothing or one thing scheduled. This is how I'm trying to find a place for all of those things in that image above. It is working fairly well but you know, we're at the beginning of the soccer season & things usually get CRAZY during that time & the best laid plans fall to pieces but I'm striving to keep it together this year!