Being a leader is tough and being a parent and a leader is even tougher. The people that say you can have it all, and in equilibrium, quite clearly have never had a go at juggling jelly. Expectations are huge when it comes to succeeding in the workplace and they’re just as big at home – people demand your time and your answers, there’s no exception to the environment. It’s a wonder at times that the hands-on parents amongst us stay evenly footed. Or do we?
For years I’ve tried to balance being a leader with being a parent and the honest truth is, it’s not easy, in fact at times it’s beyond challenging. Trying to find a balance is not about having it all and making things work perfectly; just like juggling jelly, sometimes things slip and that’s not bad. It’s human. It could be creeping too close to a deadline or forgetting coloured socks day. It happens. There will be times when your work impacts your home-life and when your home-life impacts your work. That doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a more well-rounded and self-aware individual who proudly became a parent and worked hard to become a leader. Hold on to that thought.
Progressive agencies that offer flexible working make a huge difference when it comes to striking a better work/life balance; feeling supported makes you more determined to achieve. The best piece of advice I can give is – love your job and love your family; if you’re like me, you’ll need and appreciate both. And when you next read or hear ‘you can have it all’ just smile and think, I can, but maybe not always perfectly in sync – as long as I work hard and do well at both then I know I’m succeeding. It will reduce the guilt and keep you from juggling jelly!