Work-Life Balance

I first heard the term work-life balance from a highly successful female CEO from New York City. And while I hear this conversation from male executives, when I hear it from a woman there is kinship.

After all, most of the working dads I know are doing an amazing job, but the working moms are carrying not only strategies, facts and figures in their head, but also shoe sizes, birthdays and how much milk is currently in the refrigerator. It can get pretty crazy.

I give the same gift to most new mothers who are going to try 'work-life balance.' It is a book by Linda Mason called The Working Mothers Guide to Life. Linda begins the book with the story of her friend in rural, Western Kenya. Petronila has eight children. Several times a week, she takes her goods to the marketplace and spreads them out on a blanket to earn income for her family. And as she talks to the other women in the marketplace--women she's known her whole life--children are everywhere. By her side, running and playing. You see in Petronila's world there is no work-life balance. There is just life.

This story resonated with me.

It is a lot easier to measure life than work-life balance. If you have spreadsheets that tally, but yelled at your co-workers today, there is no life. If you have milk in the refrigerator, but didn't hug your children, there is no life. If you finished your project, and didn't laugh with a friend just once during the day. No life.

And so, for all of you working moms out there, I want to encourage you.

And wish you life.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall