I'm Guilt of Being a Work-a-holic
Oftentimes I’m juggling several different things at once. I recently opened a new hair salon and it has required long days from me. I struggled with finding a healthy life/work balance at first. This journey really made me appreciate my family’s flexibility in allowing me to follow my dreams.
I’m lucky enough to have found a wonderful life partner. He helps me in areas that I fall short in like cooking and certain errands. He is usually home earlier than me, so he tackles many household tasks with the boys so that I can focus on getting the business off the ground. He picks up things I like when he goes grocery shopping and tends to know when I need space and when I need cuddles or even just a tall glass of wine.
Owning a business and having a family is not easy. I’ve had to train myself to find time to make sure my loved ones know that they are always a priority. I always ask and listen about Brian’s day making sure to be present and follow-up with questions so he knows I’m actually hearing him. I sit next to my youngest and watch thirty minutes of The Hobbit or The Dragon Prince or whatever he fancies and he usually holds my hand and looks to make sure I’m not on my phone so when he asks “Did you see that?!”—that I actually did see it. My oldest is an introvert, so I will coax him out of his dark cave for dessert and listen to why he deserves more VBucks to buy another skin on Fortnite.
I find that communication has helped our family with expectations. A long time ago I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s true that everyone is different in how they feel loved and it doesn’t always take grand gestures or expensive gifts to prove that someone is a priority to you.
My youngest definitely needs quality time. Usually on a long work day I will let him know that after work we will watch something together for thirty minutes his pick, or we will play UNO or whatever it is I just let him know that he will have me for that time. It seems to help him with my absence because he knows there will be a slot of time that’s just for me and him.
My oldest definitely is more into gifts but also likes to vent. That’s why I offer him dessert and some conversation so he feels heard. Brian is a mix of everything just like I am. I think that’s why we complement each other so well.
The most important piece to all of this communication with them is my follow through. Kids take everything to heart and if I tell them I’m going to do something, I do it regardless of how tired I am. If they ask for something I’m not sure I can deliver then I let them know it’s unlikely. I’d rather under promise and over deliver than disappoint. I was told we can’t have it all, but I am going to strive to be the exception to that rule. I love my family and I love my work. Am I perfect at either? No, but I’m doing the best I can and for right now it’s enough.