28 Apr Balancing acts belong in the circus, not in real life!
As I write this I am currently sitting at The Bondi Skate Park in Sydney watching my 10-year-old, Oliver do tricks on his scooter while I put together this little update for you. I’m not usually down with doing two things at once, especially when it comes to my children. I like to stay present and enjoy time with them, but the current trip I’m on in Sydney is a work trip—so ‘Mr 10-year-old’ Oliver has to work with me on this occasion. I have to say the view isn’t too shabby and there is nothing I love more than being out in fresh air with a few rays of sun falling down on me…it’s bliss.
The past few years has been quite a big juggle for me, trying to navigate a heavy travel schedule with three small children has had its challenges, but one thing I’ve learnt is putting additional pressure on myself to strive and have balance is just a futile exercise. Balance in every area of your life doesn’t exist, or at least it doesn’t for me! For example, there are times when I’m a great mum and a great friend – often at the demise of my work productivity, or I’m smashing it at work and being a great Mum – but I’m a distant friend.
These balancing acts are what so many women feel guilty about—they can’t be a great mum, friend, wife, leader, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister or neighbour all at the same time!
One thing I know for certain is that striving for perfection will only leave you in a big pile of a shitty mess (you being the shitty mess). So, these days I’ve stopped striving and rather I’m practising being kinder to myself, I can’t do it all and nor can you, and if you are trying to – please stop now, it’s a road to misery!
What I do recognise, more these days than at any other time in my life, is that I have the choice, this is my life and I’m in the driver’s seat—so if there are areas of my life that I am not happy with, I make the changes accordingly.
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve travelled to the UK & Ireland, the US, Canada and numerous places within Australia…and it’s only April! My family life was starting to feel a little compromised so I had to make some hard choices; I started either saying no to the travel and opportunities or finding a way to bring more harmony between the two.
So, in my recent trips, I’ve taken Mikaela on a speaking gig to Brisbane and Oliver to Sydney for TV interviews, which has been an absolute hoot. Snuggling up with Miki in bed and watching TV, eating chocolate and giggling like two schoolgirls is one of the highlights of my year. Having lunch with Oliver at Icebergs in Sydney followed by an ice cream and a trip to the hotel spa with a one-hour massage was pure bliss! It’s my middle son Cruz’s turn next, stay tuned for that instalment, if Cruz’s high-octane personality is anything to go by I think I’ll dedicate an entire blog post to our ‘go to work’ adventure!
So whilst I don’t strive for and don’t really believe in this whole work/life balance stuff—what I do believe is fundamentally important to human growth and accessing a joyous life, is practicing kindness to yourself, being flexible, recognising that not every area of your life will be singing at the same time, and most importantly – acknowledging that this is your life and you make up the rules.
And just to finish on a light note…
I made profiteroles on the weekend and this is what they looked like.
I also cleaned out my handbag and I found a pear that was black and was as small as a date.
I might not always be the best mother, wife, friend, leader, lover, boss lady, daughter, sister, or baker – and my life is certainly not ‘balanced’. But it works and it feels pretty bloody good…most of the time!
So shed that shitty guilt, do your best, have a laugh and if you find a pruney pear in your handbag, know you’re not alone.
With love and kindness,
P.S. Helping women to take control of their life and inspiring them to love themselves unconditionally (even with year old pears in your bag) is something I am deeply passionate about, that’s why I run the Unstoppable program, another round is starting soon, head to the link to see our brand spanking new website here.