Letting Go of the Myth of Work Life Balance
We’re all starved for time— seemingly never having enough of it to do the things we need to do, let alone the things we want to do—it’s pretty much a daily conversation around here. Our founder, Sarah constantly struggles with this— “balancing” building CODE beautiful with parenting a little girl, wanting to give 100% to both. The struggle is so very real and it doesn't help that we’re constantly bombarded with this message that we must achieve “work-life balance” and if we can’t we’re not doing it right—cue mum guilt.
It’s no wonder this idea has permeated the thinking of women (and men) everywhere. It’s been societally ordained as the holy grail of modern success, particularly for women. But the conversation around “work-life balance” is fundamentally flawed. Primarily because most of the discussion fails to take into account the entirety of who we are as people. It places independent value on individual aspects of our lives rather than acknowledging that the sum of all these facets amounts to a whole. Work, life, family, health, well-being… do not exist in isolation of each other at opposite sides that must be balanced. Rather, all of these things should be given equal value and integrated in a way that appreciates the entirety of an individual. A win at work is not more important than a win at home, it all counts equally. Likewise, just paying attention to our own needs (whatever they may be) in a way that allows for the fluidity of life can make a huge difference to how we feel.
Sarah decided that in the spirit of self-care, she would take this week off to recharge (way over-due in our opinion.) Referring to the time as her ‘personal joy week’ the plan was to spend it seeing family, taking glorious day naps cooking nice food—you know… the things—balancing out the craziness of her recent work schedule. But as ever—best laid plans…
Day plan: Crystal Healing session, lunch, afternoon nap, film, have a clear out of the little human’s wardrobe.
Reality: Crystal Healing session, endless dealings with the guy from the heating company, an afternoon of work, a 2.5 hour battle with a three year old couple with a nearly 9pm bedtime—and… you guessed it, more work.
The thing is, that day despite being an absolute comedy of errors, is totally reflective of life. Things don’t always go to plan, but that doesn’t negate the importance of making a conscious effort to take time for ourselves, and it doesn’t have be perfect. It’s all life.
We don’t have to choose between our professional ambition and our #parentinggoals or between our dedication to our families and our dedication to own well-being. Instead—we’re trying to embrace a new way of working that takes into account the whole “life” picture. Viewing the things that are important to us outside of work not as obstacles or barriers to success, but actually as core values that can contribute to who we are and what we’re building: giving ourselves permission to be ourselves.
How does this eliminate the conundrum of the never ending to-do list, you may be wondering? Well, the truth is it doesn’t, but by changing the way we think about things and moving towards a more integrated way of working and living; suddenly the guilt, sleepless nights and stress starts to melt away giving way to a more happy, productive and dare we say it “balanced” existence.