What it means to balance work and family

I shared my thoughts about how to balance work and family and why I feel like I’ve lost the way as a project manager.
I received many emails in response.
It seems that everyone is trying to make it in their own way. However, the challenges are all common.
This is what a’mom who’s been there’ said:
My heart goes out for you. It is hard for my daughter to be in the same boat. We have three things that we believe might help.
First, exercise – This will give you more energy. It sounds crazy, but it is possible when you are so busy and exhausted.
Second: Nutrition – Stress, lack of sleep, and other factors can make it difficult for the body to function properly. I have tried many supplements, but IntraMax liquid is the best. You will feel alert and ready to go in the morning and afternoon with 1 T.
Third: Delegate (Outsource). Anything you can get help with personally, do. Do the housework, laundry, and grocery shopping. I used to hire a preteen to play with the children for a few hours. It was a great experience for us all.
It gets easier and better.
I have hired a new team member for managing my blog and my self-employed company. I am taking steps to delegate and seek help.
This reader made me realize how important it is to be aware of the moments of clarity and to keep them in mind as well as the moments when everything is falling apart.
Sometimes I feel too spread out and not able do one thing well or with enough thought. Sometimes, however, I find a place of grace. I feel the ground beneath me and can put some thought into my work and produce (or be part in the production of) something amazing.
I was inspired by this mother to wonder why people don’t discuss the challenges of parenting and working simultaneously. We are afraid of what our bosses may think if we tell them how little sleep we had and how much time we spent dealing with toddlers who had just scribbled on the walls of the dining room. (Yes, that did happen a few weeks back.
It can be difficult for women in professional fields to admit that they are having a hard time. We want to jump out of our seats and shout, “Yes!” when we hear other women admitting that parenting and work is difficult. We appreciate you saying it! It is indeed!”
With my children being 18 months apart, I can tell you that the first 4-5 years were the most difficult. Exhausting, adorable, and amazing, but also a bit blurry, most likely due to the lack of sleep.
It does get easier. It’s not easy. It is possible to get your sleep back, but it is not easy. It will happen soon.
Yep. We look forward to that.
This reader provided one of the most insightful responses:
Your role sounds very similar to mine. I switched from a corporate project manager to a programe coordination position, where a PMO is not required. I do a lot of coaching and [internal] consulting. I also develop and publish the Program/program management framework with guidelines. I manage projects that are too small, too boring, or too risky for anyone else.
This seems like a natural progression from project management to a strategic position with strong project management skills. I am realizing that I cannot do the project management of the exciting projects alone. I also feel more valuable to the organization as a role model for program management and project management. I spend a lot time observing and formulating great advice. Isn’t this what you are really good at?
The question is, “Where do you bring the greatest value to your organisation?” Perhaps you can add more value by doing something other than project management.
Maybe. His words caused me to rethink my role in the team and the value that I bring to it.