Balancing It All

This is more important than dishes.

This is more important than dishes.

Reading Cat’s post earlier this week about not having it all together really resonated with me. I’m sitting in my basement in my sweaty clothes from my run (more walking, let’s be honest) staring at the dinner dishes around me trying to accomplish the rest of my to-do list before 11:30pm,which is in 23 mins from now.

Needless to say, I too am far from having it together, but I am trying my hardest to balance it all.

Working full-time as well as being a wife, mother, blogger, freelance writer, friend, wanna be runner and cat momma is a lot to balance. I try to make time for everything important in my life and I think I do alright. I don’t feel like I’m being stretched too thin which is a good thing but this feeling comes from prioritizing, a learned skill.

When I go to bed tonight my dishes will probably go in the sink until tomorrow night when I get home, the vacuuming won’t get done until the weekend and if I’m being honest, this will likely be the last blog post on my blog this week. Prioritizing is what keeps me sane and dishes and vacuuming, even for the quasi-clean freaks we are, can wait.

They can wait because I would rather spend my time writing this post to share with you all, so I can then sneak upstairs and stare at my sleeping daughter for a few minutes because tomorrow I’m spending my evening after work with my husband and family watching a hockey game and I’ll miss her bedtime, because in prioritizing my time they can wait.

My point is, I’ve learned if you want to accomplish a lot in your days and weeks you need to learn to let go of certain things. That trying to add too much to your to-do lists can ultimately set you up for failure.

My Schedule 

When I was getting ready to return to work I was worried about how I was going to balance it all, but four months in an I’m doing better than I thought.

I’m working four days per week which is perfect. I’m working Tuesday-Friday 9-5, with commute, I’m gone 8-6 usually. When I get home, my time is with kiddo until her bedtime which varies between 7 and 8pm  depending on her nap. After kiddo goes to bed, momma goes into overdrive.

Between 8-11pm I:

  • Clean up from dinner,
  • Laundry (and tidy if needed),
  • E-mails, comments on my blog and freelance sites,
  • Workout, running now, though sometimes it’s a walk on treadmill or outside,
  • Prepare (which may require cooking) lunch for the three of us for the next day (more cleanup),
  • Time with husband, cat, friends…

Needless to say during my work days, my baby-free time is precious. I try to get all my blog posts written and scheduled on the weekend. If it doesn’t happen by Sunday night I likely won’t get it done. It’s rare that I write during the week since I have so little time but sometimes it happens.

Monday is my day ”off” and it’s dedicated to kiddo. We stick to her schedule since messing with her schedule is never a good idea! I try to schedule any appointments and make phone calls on Mondays but with a busy 15 month old getting into everything I accomplish nothing other than making sure she doesn’t hurt herself or anything else 🙂

If I let every tiny thing get to me, I’d be uber stressed all the time. I’ve learned to let go of the little things and ask for help when  I need it.

How do you balance it all?

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Comments

  1. Sounds like you’re doing a great job, Catherine. Yes, balancing it all with kids is really difficult. I try and do most blogging work when the kids are sleeping too, and lots of the other work, we do together as a family. This minimizes our work time and maximizes our play time. Obviously, your sweetie is a bit too young to empty the dishwasher, but when she gets older, it’ll be a great help. 🙂

  2. It sounds like you are doing a good job of balancing it all, and I agree that making time for family is a big priority.

    I was going at breakneck speed from January until about mid summer. I was freelancing, blogging, and working 40+ hours per week. Finally I had to let some things go and now I’ve got a much better life balance. You’ll get your true balance eventually, it just takes time to get there.

  3. I think you are doing great! It does get hard, and I’m not sure how you do it all with that super cute baby in the mix also 🙂

  4. Sing it sister! You are doing great, the housework can always wait, even if, like me, that’s wears on you. Life is good, enjoy it while you can. BTW, see you tonight!

  5. You are way more balanced than me, even if your dirty dishes sit in the sink! I really need to figure out a way to be more productive after 8pm. Once 8:15 hits, I feel like a zombie and want to go to bed!

  6. Thanks so much for the mention. I’m so glad my post inspired you! I really look up to you for how hard you work and how great of a mom you are. I will definitely be e-mailing you when I make the transition to being a mom to get some good tips on trying to balance things!!

  7. It’s so hard to be a working parent. And, when you blog on top of that, it’s almost impossible. But, it can be done! Just don’t be so hard on yourself. And like you said, let the little things go.

  8. You have to set priorities and if it means making a list and assigning a High, Medium, Low priority to each item, then it can be a worthwhile investment in time (that you think you don’t have). At least that way you can go to bed knowing that all the high priority items are out of the way, because those are the ones that will keep you up. And don’t forget to add hug/play/talk with your kids to that list, because as you mentioned, that’s the one you’ll regret the most if you overlook it!

  9. I’m slowly learning how to balance it all, but it does require some serious time management skills and understanding when to outsource vs. when to do it yourself.

  10. It’s neat to hear another bloggers personal schedule–when they comment, email and write!

  11. I need to learn to let the little things go, as often times that’s what is leaving me the most stressed. I think it’s a good idea to get writing done over the weekend – I would rather knock out a bunch of posts Saturday than scramble last minute on a week night. I usually get home from work and just want to relax anyway. Having your priorities straight is a great thing, though – it makes it a lot easier to form a schedule. You have that down!

    • Yes, writing on the weekends is the easiest thing. I hate feeling the stress of trying to get too much done when I’m working.

  12. You are getting a lot done. I have never really managed to get into a routine so I don’t feel like I get as much done as I should, although I do feel like I generally get enough done.

  13. My girlfriend suffers from over-scheduling. On Sundays, she makes a huge to-do list of every possible thing that she needs to do. In theory this is good, but in reality it is horrible. Seeing a page full of tasks overwhelms her into doing nothing. I tell her to take a handful of things from that list that are “must do’s” and put them on another list to concentrate on getting just those things done. The only problem with this is her response: “they are all must do’s!”

  14. My balancing still works, since our daughter is not yet born. But I’ll make sure Mr.Dojo does his side of the work. We are both working on our business (from home), but I won’t be expected to do the housework by myself. He’s already chipping in to do various chores and will surely get assigned more once the kid is born 😀

    You do seem to do a great job, though. Having it all prioritized helps a lot. At least the most important tasks in a day get done

  15. Wow, you do manage to get a lot of things done between 8-11pm. My schedule is more relaxed that yours but somehow I still manage to get very busy, mostly at my 9am-5pm job which sometimes turns to be a 8am-10pm job with all the events that are taking place, and although they are quite entertaining, this is the time to network with other people in the industry, so it’s still work. I blog whenever I have free time and I just go with the flow. I don’t schedule any posts. If I’m too busy and don’t publish a post, it’s okay. But I guess it’s different for you since you make money blogging. I guess I’m relaxed about blogging too 😛

    • I’m pretty relaxed with my blog, if I can’t get it done I don’t fret I schedule my staff posts though. What’s amazing is that the busier I get in my life the more demand I have for organization and get more stuff done. Also it helps that when I leave my job at 5, I’m done.

  16. That photo of your baby is priceless!

  17. Catherine, your daughter is so sweet! I think that we have this notion that we have to do everything and do everything perfectly. It won’t hurt you or your family if the dishes wait, or if you don’t vacuum, or iron. What does matter is the time you spend with family and friends. You never want your daughter talking about how you never spent time with her (if your situation allowed you to) when she reflects on her childhood. I think you’re kicking butt and are an inspiration. keep up the good work!

  18. I´m still working on that! I recently started in a new job, where I work every afternoon for about 3.5-4 hours, and the commute takes about 30 min-1h each way. Beside this I also study full time, and take classes before noon, but I haven´t quite figured out how to find time to study. Balancing it all can be really tough sometimes!

  19. I hope that your husband helps with the dinner clean-up/prep etc! Sounds like you have a very busy life, and it’s always difficult to balance work, family, and fun. Looks like you are doing a really good job, though.

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