Recovering Workaholic

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.

Photocredit iStockPhoto

About the Author

Lois Melbourne

Lois Melbourne, GPHR, is co-founder and former CEO of Aquire Solutions, mom to one terrific young son and wife of co-founder Ross Melbourne. After entering a bit of a sabbatical life phase, she is authoring a series of children's books about career ambitions. She maintains a strong personal commitment to career education and small business development and is a speaker, author of industry articles, and an occasional blogger and networker. Connect with her on Twitter as @loismelbourne.


Leanne Chase - @LeanneCLC

I agree – balance is the wrong term I like integration and flexibility and you’re doing it right. You family is flexible enough to be able to support your work and you work is flexible enough to support your family time – that is what makes one feel “balanced” – everyone understanding that you have time for them, but you also have other things that need attention. NICE!

Tammy Colson

I so completely resemble this remark. For years, It seems, its been all about work. To the demise of relationships, and even fun. In 2008 when I was part of the Home Depot RIF, I took some time, and started developing other pieces of my life. I remodeled a house, I started hiking and visiting wineries, and I began to rethink what it was I wanted in life.

I am a recovering workaholic. I still work hard (I’ve even started a business around what I love, hiking and wineries) but I have found a way to integrate my work and the rest of my life.

I applaud your ability to find the fit. And your husbands instance that you do so. 😉
We think we want it all, but what we forget is that “having it all” usually comes with a price we don’t realize we have to pay until its too late.


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