I am a workaholic. I love what I do. It can be a dangerous addition. Actually, thanks to my husband and son, I am a recovering workaholic.
Our business was about 5 years old when I became pregnant. I know that my world of friends and loved ones were holding their breath wondering what kind of mother I would be because of how much I enjoy working. I enjoy the constant mental stimulation, the people engagement, and the successful completion of tasks. Near the end of my pregnancy, as conflicts between childcare and working hours came up, I realized that I had to redefine my work schedule drastically. And I did. The early years are a bit of a blur but I know my husband set an expectation of leaving the office at 5:00 p.m. It was subtle but effective. It worked.
As my son has grown, my evening routine has settled in to include leaving the office at 5:00 p.m. and juggling karate, homework, cub scouts, family exercise and meals. Bedtime reading, nearly every night for the last 9.5 years, is a must. When there is more work to do (almost always) I get back on the computer and get more things done after my son goes to bed.
Occasionally, there are evening events for networking in town. While I do have to travel for work, I try to keep it at a minimum. When my son was younger, we would take him along – with my sister as a babysitter – so he has a lot of frequent flyer miles. He does get tired of the trips when they come back to back, but I believe that it doesn’t bug him too much because of the dedicated time and focus I give him and because of his lovely disposition.
I am not a believer in the word “balance” within the term work/life balance. I prefer the work/life integration. No one can do everything they want to do all the time but you can get really good at juggling things to integrate all of the elements. If you are a recovering workaholic like me, there is hope.