Life is a bit like standing on one leg. Balance is something most of us only ever achieve for a short while, before it disappears and we have to chase it again.
As a working mum, I search endlessly for balance. And there’s no thrill in this chase, let me tell you. It’s a quest laden with guilt because I always feel like I’m sacrificing one thing for another. And then more guilt because on the face of it, I appear to have it all and yet that sense of work/life balance still eludes me.
Here’s what I think:
You can have it all. But you can’t have all of everything.
It sums up how I feel about life after giving birth.
Accepting that I don’t need to have it all and can be happy having simply all I need is my balance equation. I’ll never solve it, but I’ll keep trying.
How Travel Helps Me Find Balance
I can’t really describe to you the thrill I get from travelling. I love everything associated with it. Whether it’s searching for deals or stepping on a plane; whether it’s visiting a famous architectural wonder or just sitting outside a bar and watching a part of the world I’ve never seen before pass by me. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that when I’m away, I find my balance.
Because in those moments, when I stop and take it all in with my family beside me, I’m overwhelmed by luck and love. In those moments, I understand why I work full-time. I understand why motherhood is so important to me. I understand my life.
And it’s all worth it. Dressing like a walking advert for the Sainsbury’s sale so I can afford to spend more money on flight tickets is worth it. The commute to sustain a career I’ve built and then questioned because it sometimes makes me feel like a failed parent is worth it. In my moments of holiday perfection, I have it all and I want for nothing. I stop wobbling and I stand strong and steady. I’m truly balanced.
Now, I’m not saying that travel is your answer, but it is mine. The important thing is knowing that the answer to your balance equation is not out of your reach. Just ask yourself what it is you love and work out how to make that fit into your life.
The other thing I’m also slowly realising, is that balance isn’t something I need every day – I just need to know where I can go to get it, and how to make the compromises that make the journey possible.
For me, that’s the key to having it all.