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  • Writer's pictureAbby Calabrese

3 Things They Don't Tell You About Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance. You see it on job postings. You hear about it during interviews. You read about it in articles. But what you DON'T hear about work-life balance is even more important.

As women, we are often faced with the challenge of juggling careers, family responsibilities, self-care, and more. Finding the right work-life balance can feel impossible at times. But what does "balance" really mean?

Here is a breakdown of the top THREE things you don’t usually hear when the topic of work-life balances comes up:

1. It’s a constant struggle, not a destination. Finding true balance is elusive and it takes daily effort to manage your different priorities. It’s important to be kind to yourself on the days when things feel out of whack.

2. Compromise is inevitable. At some point, you’ll have to choose work over family or self-care, and vice versa. By spreading those concessions around as evenly as possible over time no one area feels neglected.

3. Priorities shift over time. What was most important to your balance at 25 years old may not feel as crucial at 35 years old. Be flexible and re-evaluate what “balance” means to you and your loved ones on a regular basis. As life changes, so will the equilibrium you need.

By keeping in mind that work-life balance is a work in progress, it makes it more manageable when life feels chaotic or misaligned. 

“You can have it all. Just not at once.” -Oprah Winfrey

I struggled with feeling like I was doing something wrong by not having the right balance between work and my personal life. When I was climbing the corporate ladder in my career, I had to spend time traveling and working longer hours while I had very young children at home. By shifting my perspective and understanding that different areas of your life will require more of your time and energy at specific times, I was able to be easier on myself and know that it won’t stay like that forever.

Also by being in tune with my priorities, I was able to notice when my work life was creeping too much into my personal life and I could put stronger boundaries in place or ultimately make a larger career change. What may have been totally fine with me ten years ago may not fit at all in my current life, and that’s ok! As long as you’re clear on your priorities and you can clearly communicate where you stand, you have the ability to continue working towards balance.

There are going to be situations that do not work out perfectly. Whether that’s a work event you are unable to attend or a soccer game that you may have to miss. The biggest lesson I have learned is to be easy on yourself. I see so many moms beating themselves up for missing a routine sports practice. It’s adding stress to your already demanding life and it’s not necessary.

Even though it appears that someone else has it all figured out, I can promise you, they do not. Or they have a lot of help behind the scenes. And help is great! I have struggled with asking for help and I wish I hadn’t shied away from it for so long. “It takes a village” is a common saying for a reason. Take all the help you can get and leave your guilt at the door.

The most important thing is that you don’t try to “do it all” or “be everything to everyone.” Accept that perfection is impossible. Surround yourself with a support system who understands that balance is a daily practice, not a final destination. With communication and compromise and cutting yourself some slack, you’ll find the right rhythm. You’ve got this 👊🏼

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