There is a legend passed down amongst mothers. The details differ depending on who tells it, but it is about a woman who is able to fulfill her duties in a rewarding job, then be the perfect wife and mother to multiple children, all while still volunteering at PTA events and holding monthly cocktail parties. She also makes an excellent souffle.
It is the myth of the work/life balance. And it eludes us all.
There have been two studies lately that have dealt with gaining the upper hand in the tug-of-war between work and life. The first study, which is published in the Human Resource Management Journal, suggests that the key to solving the struggle is exercise. Although it sounds a little counter-intuitive (because that would mean finding the time to exercise in your already packed schedule), the study's participants who regularly exercised reported having less stress at work and greater confidence handling work/family conflicts.
The second study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has found that women who restrict their working hours are able to maintain a better work/life balance.
It amazes me that the second study even exists, because most families aren't in a position where one member can restrict their hours. And the study fails to mention a father's role. And...and you know what? Let's just not talk about the second study, because it is frustrating me.
So...um...there you have it. Exercise. Maybe find a gym with a daycare?
Some days this parenting thing is harder than others. How do you find balance in your everyday life? Tell me at Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.