Here’s a question for you: In the never-ending merry-go-round of work-life balance, why is work always the bad guy?
My business partner, Lauren recently raised this important question on a Tuesday when her work life trumped her home life – big time. It was a body-slam of sorts where her wins at work were far more exciting and rewarding than the chaos that was going on at home.
In a single day, she secured two incredibly exciting projects where The Mom Complex will have the opportunity to help build an innovation pipeline for two Fortune 500 companies in their pursuit to make the lives of moms easier.
That’s a good day at work.
Meanwhile, at home, Lauren had two young kids to take care of, a house full of guests from out of town, and a refrigerator that immediately broke down after she filled it with $350 worth of groceries and the meals she prepared in advance to make life easier during a tough week.
That’s a rough day at home.
When Lauren went to bed that night and reflected on her day, not surprisingly, the pit of her day was frantically scrambling to find storage options for her spoiling food, while her peak was nailing new opportunities for her company.
So, why, when we talk about work-life balance, is the implication that work is always the bad guy — that we should feel bad, guilty, or shameful for spending time in this area of our lives. But, what about the days when it’s the best part of our day? When the wheels fall off at home and doing or being at work feels awesome?
In Lauren’s case, her job was the sole source of excitement and relief in a crazy, busy day. And that’s OK.
Maybe it shouldn’t be called “work.” Maybe that’s where its bad reputation comes from.
It’s OK to love your job. It’s OK to look forward to it. It’s OK that, at times, it feels better than fixing pancakes, wiping people’s butts, and taking out the trash. People seem to get so judgy when working women celebrate the working aspect of their lives. But in the wise words of Lauren, “Judge me all you want. It was the best part of my day.”
As you probably know, I think balance is bullshit, and it’s not my metric of success — I aim for peaceful coexistence between my responsibilities at work and at home.
Case in point: the image from my life right now.
As I’m writing this blog post, I’m on vacation and sitting in a very comfortable lounge chair next to a lazy river. I don’t have a longing desire to be in that river — with fountains spraying water in my face, strange kids swimming under my butt, and siblings fighting in the tube next to me. Nope. No, thank you.
I’m very happy watching and writing.
Several people around me are looking at me like I’m crazy for having a laptop at a pool, but I’m very happy right now. The important lesson here is that you gotta do you. If you have a great day at home and work is annoying you, that’s fine. Everyone expects that.
However, if you have an awesome day in the office and your kids are making you crazy, that’s OK too. It’s OK to say that out loud. You’re not the only one.
Right now I’m doing me. My two worlds are peacefully coexisting and I’ll venture into the lazy river with my kids in due time — meaning during happy hour.
It’s more enjoyable that way.