The Great Balancing Act
Working Women in the 21st Century
By Shann Vander Leek

For more than 40 years, more and more women are working full time jobs and raising families. We are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends. We do our best to have “it” all.

But at what cost?

Now, more than ever before, we must pay attention to the quality of our lives.
Being better, faster, smarter is not a healthy, balanced way to live.

Think about this:

If you were to monitor one weekday in your life, what would it look like?

Would this sound familiar?

Wake up, take a shower, make breakfast, pack lunches, get dressed, get the kids out the door, and, if you’re lucky, get yourself to work with matching socks.
You get to work, make decisions all day, and at the end of the day it’s time to pick up the kids at school, figure out dinner, make dinner, help with homework, get the kids in the bath do the dishes, maybe a load of laundry in between, and get the kids to bed.

You and your spouse share a wilted smile and connect if you still have any energy. Or maybe you grab a book and retreat to your bedroom.

Even if you don’t have children, chances are you’re still trying to cram too much “doing” into every day. Life is so much more than a list of things to do.

Are you making anytime for YOU or are you a borderline martyr?

Could you change your thinking to realize it’s okay to take some time for yourself? Allowing yourself an hour to go for a walk, get a pedicure or take a nap is alright. Not only is it okay, it’s actually necessary in order to be able to fully function in the other areas of your life.

I have a friend who is a working mother. She often complains that she never has time for herself. Yet when family and friends offer to give her a break, she declines. The excuse is she really shouldn’t be away from the kids or needs to complete some other chores etc. She’s become her own worst enemy.

We all can benefit from having a little part of the world carved out just for us.

We are so busy that we aren’t even present in our daily lives. Look at how many people are talking incessantly on cell phones, sitting in front of computers, hustling through drive-through coffee shops and flying from one task to another. When was the last time you noticed the color of the person’s eyes that served you your last meal or handed over your dry cleaning? Bumping around getting one task done after another is NOT LIVING.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you giving the best of yourself and all of your energy to your career and your boss?

At the end of the day, do you have anything left in your tank for you and your family?

Are you present in your daily life?

These are powerful questions to open the door to your reality.

Here are a few suggestions to get yourself back on center.

1. Create Joy: Find 10 things that make you happy every day. These things don’t need to rock your world. Happiness can be found in:
The sunrise, your children laughing, kindess, etc. – Anything goes
2. Schedule time each day to be peaceful – Even 15 minutes can make a difference in your life.
3. Get regular exercise – Take a walk with your family, go to the gym at lunch, move your body in some way each day.
4. Plan to treat yourself to a special extravagance once a month.
This could be dinner and a movie, a massage, a weekend getaway, a chance to sleep in.
5. Make time for your family. Create traditions, eat supper together, take time to listen and learn about the people you love the most.

Start living an authentic, balanced life today. Become aware of the areas in your life that may need a tune up. Creating and finding balance is a lifelong process. Why not start examining your life today? After all, your life is not a dress rehearsal.

2006 Copyright True Balance Life Coaching, LLC - All Rights Reserved

Author's Bio: 

Shann has been a mentor for most of her adult life. This natual ability along with coaching a talented sales force for 11 years prepared Shann for professional life coaching. Shann is an excellent communicator with a positive attitude. She is motivated, dependable, kind, enthusiastic and well organized. Shann’s personal style and direct approach have guided and inspired many in accomplishing personal and professional challenges.

Shann Vander Leek is a professional life coach certified by the Coach Training Alliance