Working Moms' Guide to Finding Balance in 2013

Jenny Keenan

I really thought when the clock struck 12 this year that I would find clarity in those tough areas of my life that were weighing me down in 2012. But nine days in, I've already waded through a multitude of highs and lows. Since that 12 a.m. fresh start, I have already missed a school meeting, forgotten my daughters goggles for swim class, and my son was 30 minutes late the first day back to school. I don't know why I thought the insanity would stop overnight, but on the flip side, I have become more amazed at myself each day at what I can accomplish.


Let's back up: I'm almost 40 years old. I'm a mom with a day job who tries to get exercise, hit the grocery store, do the family laundry, get my hair done... oh and don't forget homework, that field trip, a soccer game, build a house, nurturing my relationship. Reflecting on it all, I know in my heart the key word is BALANCE. Will I ever be able to balance it all? Why do these things make mothers feel so bad about themselves? Don't we all want to think we can do everything with true grace and without a hair out of place! 


I haven't figured it all out yet (does anyone?) but with each day, I learn a little more. Like a balance cheat sheet I can keep adding to.


1. It's okay to ask for helpI have so many ideas for my work and business—design is my passion and I immerse myself in it (and having a creative outlet makes me a better mom)—but in the end, family comes first. So I have decided that asking for help can really help with the balance we are all looking for. It is okay to get help, especially in the working world.


2. People matter. Here's how I mean that: Positive people keep me afloat, and anyone who brings me down or stresses me out to much is out! I've probably always known this, but it bears reminding.


3. "Me time" counts. How do you achieve balance if you forget to take care of yourself?


4. Find your "time tricks" and use them. For example, I have been wearing my yoga clothes under my work clothes. My yoga pants go on as leggings, and my top fits easily under a tunic or long sweater. Let me tell you: it makes getting to that 4 p.m. yoga class a lot quicker and easier. Maybe I am not making fashion statements (or maybe I am!) but what the hell! I feel great and in the end, I get to work a full day, get to yoga, and make it home to meet the nanny by 5:30. In 10 minutes, I can leave my office, be parked, and on the mat! Don't even have to change clothes. Wow, is this what my life has come to? I love it. 


If any other on-the-go moms have tips and tricks on gaining balance in life, I would love to hear them! In the meantime, I am off to Black Beards Cove for a four-year-old's birthday party.....


Photo credits: Planner from The Household Planner; yoga from Barefoot Wellness Studio