Pursue What Matters
Episode 6: Work-Life Balance
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Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Hello again, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, your host on pursue what matters. And today we are talking about an issue that is, it’s a hard one, we are talking about work life balance, is it even possible? I know what you’re thinking, Wow, you’re really selling me on this entire podcast that trust me, you will want to listen because this is a really important topic. And I want to help you think about this topic in a new way. And really think about how you can cultivate a work life balance that makes sense for you and your life and your family. Most people say that it isn’t actually possible. But is it? Join me? Let’s jump in and find out together.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:52
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Welcome to the pursue what matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. Today, we are going to talk about work life balance and what it looks like in your life. So this is a big topic. This is I feel like I’ve been hitting my head against this topic my entire career as a as a woman trying to balance work in life. So we hear so much about the importance of work life balance. But are we chasing an elusive dream? Is it even possible to achieve work life balance as a busy leader? navigating many roles? So work life balance, when we hear that it really implies the balance of time and energy between work and personal pursuits? And I don’t know that that at that it’s ever looked like that for me, definitely, I don’t think it has. So in in an interview with one of the greats, Martha Stewart, she said on work life balance, she said it did not work for her. She says it’s one of the most difficult things to do that balance, which is so elusive to most of us. It didn’t work for me, I thought, Oh, I can do it. I can do all of that. I had to sacrifice a marriage because of the lore of the Great job. It’s impossible for most of us to get that balance. Okay, well, Martha can do it, can anyone and Kathleen gearson. So she’s a sociology professor at NYU. She said the expectation is to be 100% present in both work, and our personal lives is stronger today than it ever was before. So think about that there’s even more pressure to be 100% present. And rather than restructuring organizations and institutions to fit a more blended work life economy, expectations for both have dug deeper, often forcing working women to take on the burden of the second shift of housework and childcare after their day jobs. And then let’s hear a little bit from Sheryl Sandberg. Of course, she is the CEO of Facebook and author of lean in, and also of option B. And earlier in her career, she said she really encouraged women to go after the big jobs and the big challenges and said that doing so would be good for their careers and their families. And said that, you know, you should really lean in and keep your foot on the gas pedal in terms of career. Because if it turns out and you do that you might get promoted, and you might make enough money to afford childcare. And you might have a more interesting job and you might get promoted, promoted to a level where there’s more flexibility. So her argument at that point was to keep your foot on the gas pedal for career because it would would earn you more money, which would equal more earning potential and more ability to provide childcare and flexibility. So then, a few years after that book was published, so that was in lean in. A few years after she published that book. She came out and apologized specifically to single mothers on Mother’s Day. And she said this before I did not quite get it.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:51
I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home. And of course, if you know the backstory of Sheryl Sandberg, when she wrote lean in, he was married. And then her husband of many years died tragically while they were on vacation. And so she became a single mother. And of course, sir Sheryl Sandberg as CEO of Facebook has a lot of privilege and a lot of access to financial support and resources that many, many working women do not have. And so for her to come, come back around and really acknowledge the fact that boy, you know, she she was missing something, I think was really humble of her. So, for her to be such a strong proponent of this idea of pursue career, like make it happen, it’ll all work out. And then really coming back with a counterbalance. I think it I think it’s a good reality check. And of course, the question remains, can you actually have work life balance? So of course, one problem may be that we’re trying to achieve the impossible. So Rachel Hollis, of course, she’s really popular right now she’s got She’s got some great content out there. She’s the author of The New York Times bestseller, girl, wash your face and girl stop apologizing. So she’s very open about her strong opinion that work life balance is a myth. So this is what she says more than that. It’s a hurtful myth, because I don’t think anyone actually achieves it. And yet we feel positive that other women somehow have. So when we feel Off Balanced, and we’re struggling to keep all our balls in the air, we assume it’s just because we haven’t figured out work life balance. So it becomes one more thing you’re failing at as a mom. Beyond forgetting it was weird and wacky hair day at school, and buying the wrong kind of yogurt. She goes on, I detest anything that makes women feel wrong, or less than So allow me to debunk this ridiculous myth, work life balance, its description implies that those two things live in harmony, perfectly divided up on the scale of your life. My work and home life had never ever been balanced evenly on any level work and personal life will always battle each other for supremacy. Because both require your full attention to be successful. It’s not bad or wrong. It’s just how life works. So really, you know, very strong view there. I think there’s a lot about what she says there that is so refreshing. And I think what’s really important about what Hollis says, is, first of all, the pressure or the perception that apparently some women feel that they’re the only ones that haven’t figured out the work life balance. Because I would say that is a dangerous belief if that is accurate.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:14
And I don’t know like I don’t know if it is accurate. I I’ve always been working mother working woman. And when I talk about this with my friends, who are working mothers and are working women, I feel like we’re all pretty honest about the fact that it is a lot to juggle and that there’s no right way to do it. And definitely don’t feel like everyone else has it figured out. So perhaps is the circles we move in as well. So I think what is true is there needs to be a lot of generosity and encouragement, especially among women. So arlie Hochschild is a sociologist and researcher. So she has she’s probably the first researcher to really write extensively on this topic. And her landmark book was titled The second shift, in which she investigated the double burden experienced by late 20th century employed mothers. And she found that not always but most of the time in dual career home. So right husbands and wives, both having careers, women were still taking care of most of the household and childcare responsibilities, despite their entrance into the labor force. So basically, women were coming home from their careers and starting their second shift, right when they enter their home with childcare, house household responsibilities, and hauschild found, unsurprisingly, that when the second shift was split evenly between both partners, everyone was happier. And we have seen over time, so right her research was mostly in the late 20th century. So it’s a bit dated now. But we what we are seeing is that there is more equitable balance in those responsibilities and that it does lead to happier marriages and greater satisfaction, which is no big surprise, one of the things that I found, and this is something my husband and I, we’ve, we’ve always been dual career, dual school, everything like that. And so this has been tension, I would say that we’ve navigated our entire marriage. And one of the things earlier in our marriage that we addressed was, first of all, we always had a really good split on tasks. So if he had more availability, he would pick up more of the tasks at home. And if I had more availability, then I would pick up more of the tasks at home. So there was never like this 5050 split or anything like that, that it was it was really based on what was happening, and what were the needs, and what was the availability. And so in that way, it was very equitable, although it wasn’t necessarily a 5050 split. But one of the issues that we came across, probably like 10 years, maybe into our marriage was this idea. And Haas child and others have also spoken to this in their research, is this idea around responsibility for the tasks. And so an example of that is to say, and this was actually a conversation that I had with my husband, I’m like, you’re great at doing the laundry, if I asked you to do the laundry, and like, that’s awesome. And we’ll take care of the laundry, and he’ll fold it and put it away and everything like that. But uh, but how often will you think, hey, the laundry needs to get done, and start a load of laundry without me asking. And so in a very real way, many women in the home are still carrying the responsibility for the household tasks, even if the tasks are more equitably shared within the home. And so that is one of the that is one of the continuing legacies of the second shift that we’re seeing. And I will say after that conversation, that we had probably like, probably like 10 years into our marriage, I don’t recall, it’s all a blur. At this point, I’m happy to say that we actually did see that shift in our relationship where I can absolutely say that my husband takes probably more responsibility for household tasks and that sort of thing than I do. And like I feel deeply grateful for that. But recognize that that’s not necessarily the norm for a lot of couples.
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:48
So let’s also look at Harvard Business School survey where 94% of service professionals put in 50 plus hours of work a week, and that 26% of this work was done after hours. So right if we’re thinking about when they’re working, they’re working after hours, which is really intruding on family life. So where is where is the room for work life balance? Is it possible? Are we doomed for failure, I think it can feel really daunting. Okay, so before you give up hope, and, you know, throw in the towel, I want to walk you through this exercise, and then I’m going to have a freebie for you. So I hope that you will actually take the time and go through this exercise. So this is called a role balance exercise. And so I will kind of walk you through it. But just know that you can get the freebie for this and download the freebie where we have it out on a great template. And you’ll have my examples. So the one that I’m going to walk you through today, you can have that example. And then we’ll have a great template for you. So you can go through this exercise for yourself. And I really hope you will, because I think it can be very helpful for you as you consider your own role balance. Okay, so the first thing I want, I want you to think about is we have a piece of paper, and you draw a circle in the middle of it, and then you write your name in the middle of that circle. So now from that circle, you draw lines out and connect them to smaller circles. And within those smaller circles, I want you to identify roles that you function in, in your life. So for instance, in my middle circle, it would have my name Melissa. And then in some of my smaller circles, it would include some of my different roles. So maybe in one circle, it would include entrepreneur, although I can never spell that so maybe I wouldn’t put that it would also In another circle, it would include mother in another circle, it would include power lifter, in another circle, it would have leadership coach, and another circle sister and another circle psychologist and another circle friend. So right, you can fill up as many circles as you want, with different roles that you fulfill in your life. So now if you’re like me, you have a lot of different roles that you operate in, in your life. So that can feel a little overwhelming. Once you do that, once you see all of those circles, but now underneath each circle, so you might have to write kind of small, I want you to make a list of functions in each of these roles. So if we think about like, under psychologist, I would identify some of the functions that I operate under as a psychologist, so I might list individual therapy, I might list intake assessment, I might list supervision, I might list team meetings. So that kind of gives you an idea. And you think about what are some of the activities or the things that you do or the responsibilities that are included with that role. And you can just make a little bullet list under each circle. So I think what this can help you with, first of all, it’s a lot of stuff that you’re doing. And it’s a lot of emotional and cognitive and physical energy that you’re managing on a day to day basis. And now, of course, the assumption is that you can balance all of that. So, of course, I want you to download this freebie, I think it’s really good. I think it can be really instructive for you. And really help you develop a greater appreciation for the many roles that you balance every day. Because this, this is the truth. I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit for everything that we’re already doing. And so it’s very easy, especially as women for us to really get down on ourselves. And kind of like Rachel Hollis said in the quote that I shared, that we assume everyone else has it figured out and that they’re just like, gliding through life, doing everything marvelously. And it’s easy for us to be like, like, it’s not that hard.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:34
Like, I don’t know why I can’t pull this all together. But when you really stop and take a look at all of these roles, and all of these functions and responsibilities, I think it can really help you have a greater appreciation for everything that you do. And I think it’s also a very useful tool for determining how you might want to shift some of that balance and perhaps make adjustments and really look at Okay, how many of these roles and how many of these functions or responsibilities are really essential. So I really hope that you will download that freebie and take the time to do the role balance exercise. Okay, so in addition to that freebie, I also I want to give you some really helpful solutions, as we think through this issue of work life balance. So the first thing is, I would, I would invite you to shift your focus, so to a focus on integration and harmony, more than on a perfect balance of time. Because the reality is, you will never have a perfect balance of time between your roles. And if that’s your expectation, you will inevitably be frustrated, because there’s absolutely no way to do that perfectly. And obviously, and if this isn’t obvious, then it will be by the end of this. podcast. Perfection is not the goal. And it’s not even realistic. So we really want you to focus instead on harmony and integration. Integration is the name of the game. So what helps you to feel at peace, when you are at home? What helps you what helps you to, to do your work while and to be focused when you are at work? What pieces need to be in place at home, so that you can be focused at work, and what do you need in place at work so that you can be focused and present at home. So that’s what we’re that’s what we want to think about in terms of this integration. So for me, I really try to keep working at work and home At home, otherwise, I find myself too distracted. So in general, I try to take care of at home tasks when I’m at home, so that when I’m at work, I can be totally focused on work. If I’m mentally in mom mode, while also navigating my role as a psychologist or business owner or leadership Coach, what I found is I become very ineffective, very, very quickly. And the reality is, I can’t always make this happen. So when, you know if I have to, if I have to take care of like, at home tasks, while I’m at work, I try to batch these tasks and book and them. So that you know, for example, I might take 10 minutes before my workday starts to send an email to my child’s math teacher, or to call in a prescription or to set up lawn care. But I really try to limit that to 10 minutes. And if, if any of those tasks are going to take longer than 10 minutes, then they’ll just have to wait. So really bookend those, batch them and time limit those, and the same thing at home. So resist the urge to add in at home tasks in between your work tasks, and vice versa. So this involves task switching, which requires a lot of mental energy, it’s very, very inefficient. And the research around multitasking indicates that we’re just not that
Dr. Melissa Smith 21:40
good at it. So we all tend to believe that we can multitask and women especially think they’re really good multitaskers. But the research on this is very clear that we multitasking is not a thing that we can’t multitask, and we’re very in in effective at it and task switching, which involves moving from one activity to another. So whether it’s like okay, you check an email, and then you start writing a document and then you switch back to email, or you take a call this task switching it, it turns up a whole lot of mental energy, and it makes it much more difficult to concentrate and to regain your focus and attention. And so as much as possible, you want to avoid the task switching. And so if you can do what you need to do to bookend and batch those tasks, so that you can really be focused and be where you’re at. So a few weeks ago, I did a podcast on presence. So you might want to go back and listen in on that because I think there are some great recommendations there for you. Okay, so now let’s talk about solution to so pay attention to the balance of time over weeks, not hours and days. So if you are hyper focused on your balance of time, over hours and days, you will feel really frustrated and you will feel like you’re you’re never going to find balance. And the reality is that some of your workweeks will be ugly, especially if you have work travel project deadlines and big conferences. That is just the reality of work life. And if you’re not careful, you can succumb to guilt, and overwhelm if you’re using these times to measure your sense of life balance. And so as much as possible, we really want you to resist this urge. And so I want you to pay attention to patterns over weeks and months.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:51
So if you notice that you are often having to make accommodations for big projects, or last minute deadlines, or last minute travel plans, it may be time to talk to your supervisor about how work is being managed and what can be expected in terms of predictability, right, because if you’re always having to make significant adjustments because things aren’t being planned while or because there’s always a crisis at work, then you probably want to visit with the powers that be about that. So noticing patterns over time can help you identify where you might need to course correct or focus your efforts more effectively. It might be your issue, you might need to manage your time better at work, you might need to manage your deadlines better, you might need to manage your project test tasks better. You also might find as you pay attention to this that you need to advocate for yourself better, but you might need to set some boundaries at work. I think this is a Big one, especially if you tend to be a people pleaser. People ask you to do the travel because they know you’ll always say yes. And so you might need to advocate for yourself, you might need to say no to some of the travel. And so you need to be very clear about what are your responsibilities? And are some of these unpredictable requests or last minute requests? Like, are they reasonable, and are they things that you should plan on, and can expect moving forward, because it’s really hard to find any sort of balance or predictability if you have these types of things being thrown at you constantly. And you might need to limit activities that don’t advance your progress. So for example, these last minute travel opportunities, that sort of thing. So now let’s talk about solution three. So set deadlines for yourself. And an example of this would be time deadlines. So for example, when you leave the office, so margin creep is a real thing, we all know that. And you really need to protect against this. Otherwise, work can intrude on your personal life in really big ways. I think a part of this that we don’t always talk about is this idea that work is obviously demanding, we all know that. But it’s also very rewarding. And you’re probably very good at it. And so it feels good to get things done, which isn’t always the same at home. Right? parenting is difficult, and parenting doesn’t have the same kind of rewards as work does. So I have a really great friend that I work with. And she teases that she will often wait to leave work until she is confident that her husband has put her children to bed. So she so she doesn’t have to face the chaos of putting her four children to bed. And like we laugh about that. And it’s so funny. That how many of us parents can really relate to that sentiment, I know I can. I’d much rather solve a work problem and get props from my colleagues, my kiddos only complain when I tell them, it’s time to go to bed. And so I think that’s something that we also need to be pretty honest about for ourselves is recognizing that with work, there are more visible rewards, you know, we do get encouragement, we do get the raises, we do get props, and at home, that’s not always the case. And so if we’re not careful, sometimes we will, we will unwittingly take more and more time at work. Because we feel more of a sense of control, we feel more confidence. We’re needed there where we feel more comfortable there, I feel much more confident in the work setting at times than I do at home. And so recognizing that that might be a vulnerability area for yourself, and set deadlines for yourself and be intentional about your values to be able to say, Okay, I I want to be at home with my family, even though I’ve it feels chaotic. And even though there’s not a handsome reward at the end of the day, and hold yourself to that commitment,
Dr. Melissa Smith 28:42
solution for build in transition time and rituals. So this is a big one. This is also one of my favorite ones. So this reminds me of when I was growing up. So my mother was always a working mother. So I never have memory of her not being a working mother because when I was I think one one month old, she went from being a stay at home mom to needing to work full time due to becoming a single mother. And so she she always worked as far as I was concerned. And so I remember every day when she came home from work, I mean, we were like rabid dogs, I mean, like like we attacked her at the door. And I think we were just like excited to see your and excited to tell her about our day. And like we’re like kids like we have we have all these needs. And of course, she had just been working all day and she was a leader and had a lot of responsibility. And I’m sure she was exhausted and like every day she would say just give me five minutes. I just need five minutes to myself. And she would go into her room and change her clothes and I often remember standing right out her door, her closed bedroom door, waiting for her during those five minutes, and I just, I think back and I’m like, Oh my goodness, I feel so bad for her because I was like, I was waiting outside her door like a ravening wolf. But for for many of us as moms, we walk in the door from home from work, and we don’t have much transition at all. So earlier in my career, when I worked at University of Michigan, I had an hour long commute. And I was not a fan of that commute. I didn’t, I didn’t like it, because it was an hour that I was in a car. But what I did find was that it provided me a really great transition. It helps me to fully transition from the work day to home. And so sometimes I would listen to talk radio, sometimes I would listen to a podcast, sometimes I would reflect on my day, sometimes I would call a family member, but it really provided this space, and this time for me to fully transition and be prepared to come home. And so after that year of commuting, I was so over the commute. And so when we moved to Utah, I said, I don’t I don’t care where we live, as long as I don’t have a commute. And so I worked five minutes away from where we lived, which was awesome. I didn’t have that commute. But what I found is I had zero transition. And so I would land at home. And I was still trying to process my day. And that was problematic for me. And so I’ve had to build in some transition rituals for myself. So I did not build in a commute, I still work like three or five minutes away from home. And I love not having a commute. But I have had to build in some transition rituals for myself to kind of help me with that mental and emotional transition. So do you remember the days of school, so before the school year started, every year, we would go on a big shopping trip, and my parents would buy us school clothes for the new school year. And it was like a brand new wardrobe for the school year. And it was so exciting. I remember that those were those were always a big deal. And so for the first few months of school every day after school, as soon as I get home, I’d go to my room and change out of my school clothes and put on my after school clothes, which of course were my play clothes that I could run around in, get dirty in and become fun. While I still do that today, that is one of my transition rituals. So the first thing I do when I get home from work is put on my after school clothes, they are really comfy.
Dr. Melissa Smith 33:05
That’s definitely the first requirement. And they helped me transition home both physically and mentally. These after school clothes really act as a signal to me telling me the workday is over, it’s time to relax and enjoy your time with your family. So this may seem really silly, but I love this little ritual of mine. So maybe you have a ritual that helps you transition, or maybe you’d like to try one out. So it can really help you to be more present if you take the time to build in transitions, and include some sort of transition ritual. So there’s, there’s all sorts of fun ideas out there. But the key is do something that works well for you. Solution five, so we want to focus on flexibility, and fluidity over rigidity and rules. So we don’t have any time for rigidity and rules. So first of all, with that, let go of the Superwoman complex, that you should be able to do it all. And I really want you to know you have nothing to prove. So being able to balance these many roles doesn’t make you more worthy somehow. So let’s take your self worth out of the equation, which then really frees you up to focus on your top priorities. And don’t try and do it all by yourself. There’s no glory in that. There’s no glory in that. It’s just it’s just very stressful. So you will likely need to let go of your expectations of how things should be done. And I think this is a big one for a lot of women. We kind of get rigid about how we think things should be done. And if you want balance, if you want harmony, if you want in integration, you’re going to have to relinquish your control, you’re going to have to let go of some of your expectations. So work life balance really is an invitation to overcome perfectionism, and the illusion of control. And the truth is control is just that it is just an illusion. So rigidity and rules have to go out the window, if you’re rigid, you will break, I promise you that you will break. So we want you to let go of tasks and responsibilities that don’t work for you, while you hold on to your values, right. So you want to hold on to your values. But we want you to let go of tasks and responsibilities and rules that don’t serve you. So for example, I don’t cook. I mean, I can cook, my husband would probably argue with that. But I don’t enjoy it, I really don’t enjoy it. And it’s so inefficient. And honestly, like, if I’m honest about I would just say I hate it, I just, there’s nothing about it that I like, but I do value having home cooked meals, and I really value having family dinners. So that’s where my value lies. Lucky for me, my husband really enjoys cooking. And I think it was survival, because when we first got married, I was like I can hold out longer than you. So he he needed to learn how to cook. And actually he he came to the marriage
Dr. Melissa Smith 36:31
knowing how to cook because his, his mother is a lovely cook, and tie him to cook growing up. And so he always really enjoyed it. And so I’ve been really fortunate because he enjoys cooking. And so early in our marriage, we negotiated family dinner. And so he cooks and I clean up, of course with the kids, they they’re learning to cook from him. And they’re also learning to clean up, I say learning loosely for me. So in this way we are holding to our values while also letting go of specific tasks that don’t work for us. Of course, not everyone has a partner who loves to cook, but one of my friends, she splits meal prep with her husband. So they’re both sharing the responsibility. And the the key here when we think about flexibility, and fluidity is that there are lots of ways to fulfill tasks, while holding on to your values. And so if we think about having clarity about your values, or your purpose, but flexibility about the path. So if you caught the first podcast, which was all about pursuing what matters, that’s exactly what I talked about there. So if you haven’t listened to that, go back to episode one and catch that. So with this, of course, flexibility and fluidity between roles, is the name of the game. So you’re more focused on what works than on what is right or what is expected. And there are many acceptable options for dinner, I have learned that and my children have learned that. So you know, my husband does shift work. And so there’s there are a lot of nights that he’s actually not available to make dinner. And so we have learned that cold cereal, and toast and take out and frozen pizza like all of these work for dinner. And so you got to be flexible and recognize that there are lots of ways to make family life work. But you’ve got to be willing to let go of rigid rules and expectations. And this is where we get to solution number six. And it’s probably like, the most important one is you got to be willing to let go of guilt and judgment. That’s huge. So choose compassion over guilt and judgment for yourself and for others. So a couple things that can help with this is really catch yourself with the should statements, any black and white statements, any all or nothing thinking. So be wary of support people who send these types of messages to you. You don’t have any time for people who are judging you, you just don’t have time for it. Women especially are notoriously hard on themselves and other women. But this is the thing as women we usually judge one another in areas where we feel we are lacking. So if you find yourself being critical of another woman in a specific area, get your mirror out because that is probably the area where you are feeling most vulnerable. So it is a mirror to your own work. So instead of judgment, try compassion, compassion for yourself, compassion for others, and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and so is everyone else. And this is the other thing. If, in an honest assessment of yourself, you recognize you’re not doing the best, you can then use that assessment to do better recognize that you can’t do it all that change happens in small steps, and take one step to do a little bit better in one area. So solution number seven, I hope you’re keeping track here. Be grateful for the gifts while resisting resentment. Yes, you are navigating a lot of complexity. Anytime you’re holding multiple roles, you have a lot of complexity. Yes, it is challenging. Yes, it can be stressful. You’re right, not everyone understands. And there are some in your world, who fundamentally misunderstand you, and may even judge you, oh, well, someday I’ll tell you about my letters, you don’t need everyone in your world to understand you. And if you try and make them understand, I promise you, it will only make you miserable. Because first of all, you don’t have that power, you can’t make them understand, they probably don’t want to understand anyway. And it will be a waste of your time and energy.
Dr. Melissa Smith 41:26
So instead, be grateful for the gifts of your path. I have a good friend who is a very accomplished research professor. And she works with a lot of male colleagues. So her work days look very different from theirs. So when she is at work, I put that in quotes, because she’s kind of always working. But when she’s at work on campus, she is laser focused on her writing, because it is a time where she can be more free of the family distractions. And so it’s really good writing time for her which of course, writing takes, especially scholarly writing takes a lot of focus and concentration. And so what this means for her is that she’s not attending long lunches with colleagues, she’s not bantering in the halls, she’s really focused in her office writing free of distractions. And I think that this can be frustrating for her at times, because she’s not connecting socially as much. But it is a choice that she fully owns based on her values. She’s committed to both her work and her family. And one of the ways that she’s chosen to fulfill that commitment is to be fully focused when she’s in the office. And that’s how she’s managing her writing is to you know, she’s saying no to the lunches, because that’s good writing time for her. So if we think about what are the gifts of this path for her, one of the gifts of this path for her is she’s incredibly efficient. I mean, so efficient, she’s been one of the most productive faculty, as a result of her focus. She’s available to her family, that’s certainly another gift, and doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on their days. And it does require sacrifice. And I think that I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. So also, as we think about this gratitude, it’s really important to resist resentment. So this friend could easily get into resentment. But of course, we know that it would do her no good. She’s made this choice based on her values. And resentment only drains her of precious energy that she can be using in the service of her values. And so recognizing that everything is a choice, everything is a choice. And so to choose that and be free of reason, of resentment. But it’s also important to acknowledge the sacrifices. We want to resist resentment, but it we do want to acknowledge the sacrifices and the challenges of your path.
Dr. Melissa Smith 44:13
So making some of these sacrifices and asking others to make these sacrifices can be painful. And I think that is also a truth and a reality, when you’re balancing multiple roles as we see with work life balance. So make sure you have supportive others who can relate to what you are going through. So over the years, I have been part of book clubs and other other working women and that’s been incredibly helpful. And I currently get together regularly with the ladies of my MBA program and I love my time with these ladies. So getting support compassion and encouragement. Essential and knowing that you are not alone can make all the difference in the world. And especially when you are balancing so much, it’s essential that you take some time for yourself. And you will absolutely have to do that you will have to take the time, because no one will give it to you freely. And your life is so busy and your schedule is so full, that if you don’t make it a priority to take that time, it just won’t ever happen. And building in that support where where you can be vulnerable, where you don’t have to have it all figured out where you don’t have to present the image of having this perfect balance all put together. Like that’s essential, because you need that community and you need that support. And we also want you to make peace with the fact that you will need to make sacrifices, and so will those that you love. And it’s not the end of the world sacrifices can be very valuable, especially when they’re in the service of our larger values. So for example, and I think probably every dual career couple has examples of this. But my husband has certainly made educational sacrifices for my educational pursuits. And of course, that has communicated very important messages not only to me about the importance he put on my education and my professional pursuits and happiness, but it also has set a really important message to our children, that marriage is about sacrifice, and that dad’s career is not more important than mom’s career. And that this is what you do in families, you support one another. And there will be times when you need to choose the business trip over the soccer game, that will be true. And that doesn’t make you a bad mom. And that doesn’t mean you don’t value your family or that your priorities are messed up or anything like that. They will be painful decisions and sometimes they won’t be painful decision. Sometimes it’ll just be like, you know what, this is just the reality. And this is, this is how it goes. And that will make a lot of sense to you. But you’ve got to have clarity about your choices being aligned with your values and then having support in your decision so that you can move forward with the assurance that you will be okay. And so will your loved ones and this can go a long way to banish guilt and judgment because like I said earlier, we don’t have any time for guilt and judgment because of course you’ve got important things to do.
Okay, so we did it. Congratulations on making it through this podcast is a big one is it’s a big one is a little bit longer. But I hope it’s been helpful for you as we think about work life balance and of course it’s not simple, and it’s not cut and dry as the name makes it sound. But I hope that it has been helpful for you in really inspiring you to find out what this balance can look like for you. Recognizing that it’s very personal, very personal and that that balance looks very different for each one of you. So make sure you download our freebie the role balance so you can begin mapping out what that balance and that integration can look like for you and what will work best for you head over to my website to check out the show notes with all the great resources I mentioned in this episode, and to download your freebie of the role balance as well as my example of what my role balance looks like www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-6 one more time, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-6 as in the number six. And if you’re liking what you’re hearing on my podcast, make sure you hop on over to iTunes and leave us a review so other people can find us too. Thanks so much for your support. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work in love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai