The struggle to find work/life balance with kids

Whilst I’m busy enjoying the newborn bubble I’ve asked Sharon from ‘Work / Home / Life to share her experience with finding the work / life balance when you’ve got kids.  Please make her welcome!

sharon

 

If there is one thing that I have struggled most with since having kids, it’s work/life balance.

I am someone who has always loved working. I loved the thrill of doing a good job and ticking things off a list. I liked the respect and money that came with a good job. I loved the social aspect. I loved Friday night drinks. I loved all of it really. I never thought I would stay at home with my kids.

Enter my daughter

I had no idea just how much my life would be turned upside down. I had imagined I would keep working and life would continue on pretty much as normal, except there would be this cute baby to tuck into bed at night. I am embarrassed to admit that I was ever that deluded, but hopefully I’m not the only one to make that mistake.

My daughter who changed my life.

It became obvious very quickly that working full time outside the home was not going to an option for a long time. The idea of leaving her with strangers 5 days a week was heart breaking. It also wasn’t very logical from a financial perspective once number 2 entered the picture.

However, just because I didn’t want to leave my kids, it didn’t mean that the desire and pleasure I got from paid work was gone. I tried to be a stay at home mum, but it just didn’t work. I couldn’t find satisfaction from the never ending housework and cooking and the to do lists that never got ticked. I tried really hard to make it work, as I do think raising your kids is the most important job in the world. It just was very obvious that I needed something else as well.

Starting part time work

I went back to university, trained as a teacher and was lucky enough to land a part time job teaching. This is when everything came completely undone. I really wanted my career to work, but it just didn’t. Even with a part time job I was working crazy hours. My daughter was now three and she kept asking why I was working all the time.

I felt like I was breaking up inside. I wasn’t doing anything right. I felt like a terrible parent and a terrible teacher as I didn’t have time to do either right. The satisfaction that I hoped to gain by returning to the workforce was completely lacking and I had no work/life balance. I had to make a change.

Working from home

I decided I was going to work from home. It seemed like the answer to everything. I could have greater control over my work/life balance while still getting the satisfaction from work and earning money.

This is not an easy path, especially if you decide to start a new business like me. It takes a big leap of faith to pour your energy into projects which may never pay off. I already had a successful blog, but it was not earning much money. I just hoped with more time and effort that it would pay off and that I could replicate the success across other projects.

The other benefit of working from home is that home can be anywhere! This is my “office” in the Dominican Republic.

my office in the Dominican Republic

My leap paid off. I am now earning enough money to pay for half our living costs.

More importantly, however, is that I now have my dream work/life balance. I am doing a much better job as a mother while still getting the personal satisfaction of having a career. The other bonus is that I get far more satisfaction from this career than I did from my old. It is not always easy, and I have to be disciplined about my work hours, but it does work well.

I think the secret to working from home is to be determined, hard working and don’t expect success overnight. It’s a process. It is not rocket science, but there is no quick answer to how to make it work for you. That is why I started a new site about working from home to help others find their own path to their perfect work/like balance.

How have you been able to find work/life balance?

You can find more information from Sharon at Work / Home / Life. It’s guaranteed to help inspire and motivate you to get started working from home. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

2 Responses to “The struggle to find work/life balance with kids

  • Thanks for having us Bettina! I hope everything is going well for your family at this special time and that this article can help someone.

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