Adjusting to having children is one of the most challenging life tweaks you'll ever experience. Made even more complicated by the increasing need for both parents to contribute to the household, financially.
Of course fathers are more involved in child-rearing now, thank god, which only means that instead of one harried parent with half her brain at work and half at home, we now have two harried parents in the same difficult position. As evidenced by this morning's argument over who needs to represent at tomorrow's PTA meeting at my daughter's school.
As a result, one can be excused if they believe "work/life" balance is about as real as a rainbow-colored unicorn.
Romi Lassally, of TruuConfessions (you know you've browsed and/or ranted there) has some advice for those who wish to live life instead of simply surviving: Say "no" all the time. Oh, and lie to your boss, the PTA chair, and anyone else who stands in the way.
I sat down with Lassally, who created her own successful business after being in the studio system in Hollywood, where work is 100% of your life. No balance, there. But the key to her success in a new venture, and at home, was re-thinking who she was. "Keep trying on different outfits," she advised.
One outfit in particular involves dressing younger.
Lassally points to a professional networking site, Brazen Careerist, which is designed for Generation Y. These younger employees, explains Lassally, aren't stuck in the old model of clocking in at the office and working in a traditional manner. Moms can learn from this new attitude as well. Gen Y workers value flexibility over benefits and aren't afraid to ask for a non-traditional work schedule. It's a given rather than the exception. Take a lesser title and have a happier life.
At the same time, corporate America isn't 100% on board with this new fangled work structure that actually considers the human, and not just the worker. So Brazen Careerist founder, Penelope Trunk, promotes the idea of fudging it.
Or as Lassally explains, "Lie, cheat, and lower the bar." Being available on email or by phone can replace those hours in the office. If you're at the park with your kids, but still on email, then you're working and getting paid. What if the other parents see you pushing Sally on the swing and ask you to chair a fundraising committee? Say no. After all, you're at work.
So, will all of this duplicity give your life the balance you need?
"Only cumulatively," Lassally answers. "If I measure balance day-by-day, I'm screwed."
How do you find the balance?
Image via dullhunk/Flickr