Q: Women, more than ever before, have a full plate of family commitments, business challenges, professional goals, and personal aspirations. The question is: How do we balance it all?
A: After interviewing hundreds of successful women for Ladies Who Launch, one thing we know for sure is that balance can be elusive, and sometimes even a myth. Featured Lady Kathy Freston talks about the eight points of wellness in her book, "Quantum Wellness," but mentions that you don't have to include each one every day in your life in order to prosper from them. Each day, take one or two -- meditation, for instance, or eating incredibly well -- and make a point of including them in your schedule.
Here are some tips on finding the right balance between crazy, fast-forward, running-on-empty, and a blissful, zen existence.
1. You may not have it all, all of the time but you can have it all some of the time.
We all have different commitments pulling at our sleeves. Our children are a priority, but we also want to have a good spousal relationship -- and then there's work or our own businesses, which also rank high on the priority list. Get comfortable with the idea that sometimes one of them will get the shorter end of the rope. It's up to you to decide what that means exactly; for some people, it means taking Fridays off and making less money in order to be with their children. For others, it means prolonging starting a family until a business idea feels like it's found its legs. The goal is to define "having it all" on your own terms. And don't forget -- you also have a commitment to your own health, well-being, and happiness!
2. Stick to your "balance" guns -- it's different for everyone!
Taking a yoga class twice a week and watering the lawn might be all you can fit into your life right now -- so take those moments as they come and really enjoy them. No two women live the same lives, and it's important to appreciate the time you do have to exercise, garden, or get cozy with a favorite book each night before bed. Figure out what it takes to keep your sanity and don't negotiate on it. Keep your commitment to yourself no matter what the recipe is for someone else.
3. Use your community, whether it's a virtual community or a group of confidantes in your city or hometown.
When someone needs a nanny, another woman in your community may reach out to offer assistance. When another has an ailing parent who needs a lung transplant, someone else in the network may connect her with a surgeon who can help. Other times, it's as simple as getting a recommendation for a good graphic designer or lawyer. We must be there for each other, but that starts with you. Use the community around you, and be the support you would want to have. As women, we are unique in that helping comes naturally to us -- empathy is second nature. When things seem overwhelming, find a positive, resourceful community who can relate! They will be the first to come to your rescue.
Text by Amy Swift, editor in chief of Ladies Who Launch