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A few months ago, a prior colleague of mine had her first child, and had just popped out numbers 3 & 4.  My situation had kind of forced me out of my full time job, and into a new SAHM status, while she was beginning to learn the struggles of being a working mother.  When we worked together, I was constantly doing the balancing act of home, family, personal, business, but with only my oldest kids.  We were catching up via FaceBook one day, and she asked me the ultimate question: How did I do it?  How did I manage to go to work 40 hours a week, and still find time for my husband, my kids and me?

When I re-read my answer, I was kind of mortified that I had written a novel back to her in response!  But nonetheless, she read it and thanked me.  Funny thing was that she was always my mentor at work, and now was my chance to repay the favor to her.

Before I go into my response, I do want to say that my opinion is just that, it’s my opinion.  It’s what worked for me.  The reality is that there is no right or wrong answer.  How you balance your act is all about what works for you.  In the long run, it’s all a matter of perspective because for me, spending time with my kids is more important than cleaning out my storage closet (and it’s a disgusting mess, trust me!), but that may not be the case for everyone.

Here is your Sunday Morning Coffee read…my response to the balancing act.

Stefanie Kring-Van Aken

March 1st
I have to say, being around family helped a ton. Especially when you just have one (baby), because everybody wants to help you with ONE baby! :) So take the help when people offer…seriously. Before I worked for the Guru Fitness Company, I owned my own business, so I was able to keep flexible hours. Which was nice, and my mom and and mother-in-law helped a ton. When I went back to work full time, I loved being at the Guru Fitness Company because I could pretty much build my schedule around what worked for me and my husband so the kids weren’t moved around too much throughout the day. With the twins…still haven’t figured that out. But I can say this, people ask me all the time how I do it, and first, I would say, tons of help…we eventually had to hire people, even with just (our two older kids), because there was this window of time where (RSH) would go to work, and I would need to go to yoga or a class or something. It was SO much easier to have hired help for us because we didn’t have to schlep the kids around. Which made more work for us. But I think you mentally have to be in the game too, or it becomes overwhelming. I always think about goals and choices. And trust me, it is so hard for me, but when I put things back into perspective and remind myself , “It was my choice to raise kids, my choice to have kids, etc”…then it’s easier to accept my life and where I am right now. Then things don’t seem too hard. Does that make sense?
Organization…HAVE to be organized…I do everythng the night before or else my whole next day is a disaster…calender everything into my phone. Consistency…start creating a set schedule for yourself, and then be really transparent about it so people can support you and understand what they can expect from you. That was the one thing that was SO key for me as a manager…I just kept explaining to my team that I have to build my schedule weeks in advance I needed it to stay the same. Every once in awhile I could support by covering a shift or two when people needed it, but if I screwed up my schedule it screwed up my family’s schedule and thus screwed up our balance.
(RSH) and I talk all the time about our goals, and right now, it’s about him pursuing his…he is up for a promotion…and my job is to manage the family. But I’m still keeping up as much as I can with the writing and the social media so I am not too far behind when I decide to go back to work. You also may have to adjust the (fitness) classes you take…there was a studio here that did Momy and Me yoga where you could take the baby with you.  Or one later that (my daughter) and I used to go to where the kids’ class was the same time as the mommy class. Look for gyms that have (baby) sitting, that you trust, in fact we just joined a great gym with a day care that takes the babies right now, which is SO awesome!!
You just learn to adjust and compromise and adapt, and use all of that great (Guru Fitness Company) stuff we were taught, I mean you know it best, and apply it to your life now. It’s definitley different, it’s a challenge, but it’s so amazing. Attitude and perspective are huge! And have a sense of humor! you’re going f’ up…it’s inevitable. There’s going to be days that went nothing like you planned, and you just have to go with it, or it will kill you. And make sure you have lots of understanding bosses who support you and want you to succeed (being integral and passionate goes without saying, I mean, you don’t want to take advantage!);). Otherwise, the job isn’t worth it. There’s other jobs or businesses to start.
Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. I didn’t have a problem leaving my kids for a few hours a day so I could feel like the person I wanted to be without them. It made me a better mom. My thing is that it’s OK for other people to be around your kids, because if you want them to be worldly, cutured, educated, sometimes they have to learn from people other than you.  I totally believe in the “It takes a village”. It is SO hard to raise kids by yourself, and when you think only you are the best thing for your child, then you isolate other people who could be amazing in their lives and amazing for your life. That’s just my opinion. Everyone has a different outlook. Obviously, as long as you trust them.
I would love for you to read my blog (which this response has turned out to be) when you get a chance. Especially the earlier posts I talk alot about parenting. Totally reach out though if you ever need anything or questions, etc. I hope I was able to help you a little bit!