Work and life balance.

One of the sessions Jess, Robin, and I wandered into at Alt Summit was the Work and Life Balance session. The panel was an amazing group of talented ladies: http://inchmark.squarespace.com/, http://chrysulawinegar.com/, http://www.snippetandink.com/http://sarahjanestudios.com/blog/. You would think this would be totally obvious, “Oh yeah…. I’ll be a work at home mom. No problem. I can pull it off!” But, turns out I’m not so good at the whole balance thing. Why do we seek balance? What does it feel like? What is it like without balance?

I have so many orders right now I get a bit overwhelmed… I’m forever learning how to manage my time properly: I’m a work at home mom. There’s a lot involved in that role. I often remind myself to stop thinking about work while I’m playing with R. I don’t want to seem distant or like I’m not putting my all into being the best mom I can be for R. And, I know it can’t be healthy to think of work 24/7. I blog for a living…. I don’t live to blog. Something to remind myself. It’s hard when I’m in the moment and think, “Oh, I should take photos of this for the blog….” No. I should take photos of this moment for me. For my family. To remember. In December I talked about how I’ve been actively leaving my best bud, Camera, at home just so I can BE in the moment…. And not the photographer of the moment.

One thing I’ve been doing to get all of the garble out of my head is… Stop… Pull out my phone and add a note to my Note App. That way the thought is out of my head and I know it’s safe and saved along my phone for me to come back to later. Out of my mind. I always have my phone with me anyway…. So, it works! I copy/paste and email the notes to myself for when I’m actually working. In FACT: that’s exactly where I wrote this post. On my phone. I wasn’t sleeping too well and just had to get all my thoughts out… here they are! Actually, this is how I write MANY of my posts.

So, what I really took home from this work and life balance session:

– You can choose what projects you work on. It is ok to say no sometimes. Don’t let the guilt get to you.

– Don’t dilute your brand with quantity. Quality is ALWAYS better than quantity. Oh so true.

– Design your life… who am I? why am I here? and, what am I supposed to be doing?

How do you get your thoughts out?

{Related Posts: Learning to step back… to breath // Alt Summit sessions begin! // Making a living… doing what I love! }

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28 comments

  • Claire Chadwick on said:

    Also being a 'work from home Mum'…I too strive for balance. Some days I think I have it sussed……and perfect harmony is occurring, yet other days I feel so uncomfortably unbalanced! I've learnt to start saying No to offers, projects & even some work and focus mainly on what I love! x
    P.S. On the topic of taking on projects {and saying no….lol}, I've kicked off a photo project to inspire teens on my blog today…..if you get the chance, I'd LOVE for you to participate……but I understand if you can't! Balance baby 🙂

  • Sara on said:

    i struggle with the balance of my day, daily!! but i finally found a schedule that works for us!

  • Kat on said:

    What an amazing session. I am very dependent on my iPhone to keep track of ideas that jump up at me in the middle of the day, night. It's much better than letting it roll around in my head, endlessly!
    ps- I sent you an email to see if you were interested in posting a guest post on my blog.

  • Heather on said:

    I love that you posted this. It's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. We definitely all struggle with it I think….

    The president of my company once told me before "Heather, I respect you so much, you work to live, you don't live to work"
    this after I turned down a higher paying position that required me to become salary and consume more hours of my day.
    No thank you!!

    Balance is so important!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Wow! That's a hard decision! But, you are probably happier. 😀

  • Liz on said:

    I appreciate all the blogs going around expressing a desire not to 'live to blog'. I don't have a 'big' blog … or kids … or even a full time
    job yet. But I sometimes catch myself wanting to do something just to blog about it, or dress up just so a certain picture will look
    OK on my blog. And I feel guilty. I know balance can be found 🙂 I write notes to myself or put reminders in my phone to stay in
    the real world.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yes. The "I don't live to blog" thing is important. Sometimes it gets hard! Especially when you blog about your life. 🙂

  • Ky_TwoPretzels on said:

    Excellent post. Excellent. I have a full-time career, two little ones and I HEART to blog… I wish I could do it all, but I just can't. 🙁

  • Alycia on said:

    I so need to go to alt next year 🙂 haha loving your blog and your posts about everything!

  • Charisma Moran on said:

    I always have the most trouble with saying no but I believe it is one of the most important words in the English language! Especially in todays world where things can get extremely busy very quickly!

  • Mandey on said:

    I've started making lists in my note app too! I also have a list of blog ideas as I think of them and can go back to when I run out of things to talk about. I'm also finding it hard balance stuff out at the moment. My shop is really taking off and I want to not only keep up but get ahead of the game on that and my blog…I need like a 3 day vacation from mommyhood to just get everything done!

  • tamalita on said:

    I am not a mom, but for one, I used to be a university professor and after I left that, I began working at home. Not matter what I do, I struggle with balance. Always. Even when I was single. I don't have an answer.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yeah. Balance seems to be a struggle for everyone!

  • lolasphat on said:

    Just wanted to say hi, first time reader 🙂 Came through BTHR. Your space on the web seems like just my style and then I was reading the 'about me' and saw that I was at the same concert you attended where you met your husband 🙂 It was a great show!

  • candice on said:

    Amen! Be a work-at-home mom is a daunting task. Somedays I just need to say to hell with everything {like cleaning and cooking} and have fun!

  • Tara on said:

    that is a great thing! And balance… oh man i struggle with that too! And I am not even a work at home mom!

  • Secret Mom Thoughts on said:

    It is so hard to balance work and home. I only work part time and it is a challenge.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      It so is. Sometimes I have so much to do I just start staring… And, nothing gets done. 😉

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