“Mommy, why did you decide to do dance class and leave us?”
The drama is strong in my household. I was simultaneously impressed and heartbroken.
Then there’s this one: “You have to go on a photoshoot AGAIN!?!?!?!?!”
Or the less manipulative, but equally as daunting “What’s for dinner?” (Especially when the Venn diagram of what my two girls will eat overlaps only at “treats”). And by the way – why do they want to eat *every* day ????
I am an active mom to two wonderful lunatics. I run a photography business, and a dance business. I feel like any one of those three things is a full time job in and of itself, but noooooo…… I have to do all three. I also fancy myself a chef (not really). My house is loud and crazy, and not NEARLY as clean as I want it to be. (In my head, someone is coming over to photograph the interior any. minute. now….)
For some reason, I was asked to write a post about Work / Life / Family Balance. I was like “Are you kidding me?” There’s no balance here…… <waves arm frantically and broadly at everything>. My Christmas tree has been up for 5 years – and now we call it a “Holiday Tree” and we decorate it for every season. I took my kids to the movies yesterday and one of them didn’t brush her hair for two days and the other insisted on wearing a summer dress in December in New York. I have to submit my JSBD Level 5 book soon and I thought I was fine until I spoke to a colleague who straight up laughed at my confidence and said “Yeah, let me know how that goes for ya”, because misery loves company (I’m looking at YOU Stacey).
Point is…. most of the time, I don’t FEEL like I have balance. I feel like I am playing the Life Version of Whack-A-Mole. The mere thought of having to tell anyone what my “secret” is to Work / Life / Family Balance makes me laugh because can’t you SEE the only reason I put on lipstick today is to compensate for the fact that I haven’t showered?
But maybe that’s what balance is?
You’ve got all these elements that you need to carry across the finish line and you are just trying not to drop any of them. And yes, you’re wobbly. And yes, you’ll probably need to stop to readjust. And it is not as easy or as perfect if you were just carrying that ONE THING….. But you can’t carry just that one thing…. Because either out of Love or Obligation or both, you need to do lots of things. And that’s what I do. I love and adore my family. I love dance, and learning and teaching. I love photography. I love to sew. Wait, no I don’t. Scratch that last one. I love to CREATE. I love to GROW. And no matter how imperfect something is, I AM always growing. And I feel like THAT is the point. The point is that my kids are going to remember putting flowers on the tree in June, and that they ate too much candy with Mommy and Daddy at the movies. The point is that I am going to have dance students that will blossom into their own stunning artistry and maybe, just maybe, something that I said or taught them might be in their root system. The point is, that personally I am a MUCH better dancer today than I was 3 years ago – even if I don’t get in as much training as I would like. The point is that because of my love of photography, there will be future generations that get to look back at family photo’s I’ve taken for clients, and it will be one of their greatest treasures.
For me, the answer is that I have to know what my priorities are. Then I have to commit to momentum on each of them – every damn day. And maybe it is only an inch that day. And maybe the next day it’s a mile. But in the long run, I’m able to look back on all of these things that I love to do, and I can see progress. These are the things that make life worth living for me.
So my answer is this:
- Know your priorities.
- Find the time (no matter how small).
- Don’t let Perfect be the Enemy of Good.
- Buy lipstick.
-Written by: Angelique Hanesworth (SSL5 & JSL4 certified instructor)