Summer may be here, but my to-do list doesn’t seem to have received the memo that things are supposed to slow down. Lazy beach days and swims at the pool are ahead, but businesses still need to be run — even from the poolside. While it’s no problem to get a bit of hand stitching done, bigger things — like blog posts and newsletters — still fight for time.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Ginny Kochis, a Catholic wife, homeschool mom, and teaching writer from Northern Virginia. She writes about faith, homeschooling 2e* kids, and family literacy on her blog, Not So Formulaic. Ginny is also a regular contributor to CatholicMom.com, so you’ve probably had a chance to read her beautiful work before! Today, she shares how she found a great balance between her work and personal life in three steps.
(*2e = twice exceptional. They are gifted and have learning disabilities/are on the spectrum)
He was an arm’s length away, eyes closed, cuddled beneath a green blanket tossed lazily on our bed.
9:15 PM, and I was still dressed. My eyes burned. My laptop whirred. Papers spilled across my legs and onto the floor. With a deadline looming and time ticking away, I had just lamented my work had lost its appeal.
I used to love writing.
I used to love teaching writing.
Lately it’s felt more like a chore, and I happened to say that to my husband.
“Don’t you think the production schedule you’ve set for yourself is a little overwhelming?”
Good thing I have a guardian angel, ‘cause I’m pretty sure she stayed my hand.
When Working at Home Becomes More Than Just Work
I may not have wanted to hear it, but my husband was right. My prayer life was on life support, and I couldn’t remember the last time we’d prayed as a couple. Our marriage was also struggling a bit; I spent every spare moment burying my nose in work.
The problem with most female entrepreneurs is simple: we’re female entrepreneurs. We tend to be exceedingly strong willed, exhibiting a Joan of Arc-like determination when charging headlong into the wind. These are fantastic traits for growing a business, but not so much for running a home. With our drive and our focus leading the way, the end goal becomes bigger than the life we’re currently living. Being present and in the moment begins to feel like a chore.
Fortunately, the very same traits that get us in trouble are often the ones that save our lives. If we apply that grit and stick-to-it-iveness to our spiritual and family lives, that elusive work/life balance will be ours for the taking.
Three Practical Ways to Rock Your Catholic Work – Life Balance
Don’t Just Use Your Planner for Business
If it’s not written down, it ain’t gonna happen. So as awkward as this might seem, start using your planner to block out not just your business responsibilities but your days at home, too. Set aside time for God, your husband, your kids and yourself. Don’t just pencil it in; put it in ink, and stick to honoring those promises in your day.
Rely on the Wisdom and Resources of the Church
When my mind is preoccupied with work-related thoughts, I need something external to keep my head in the spiritual game. A prayer book like The Mother’s Manual or a magazine like Magnificat will do wonders for the brain’s tendency to wander away. Find an online retreat for Catholic women, or schedule an appointment with your pastor or spiritual director. Relying on the wisdom and the resources of the Church will go a long way toward rebuilding your prayer life.
Involve the Family as Much as You Can
If chores and maintenance aren’t already a family affair, divvy out responsibilities to each of the kids. Say the Divine Mercy Chaplet as you work to fold laundry, or carve out a part of your day to pray the rosary as a family. You might even consider giving business tasks to the helpful people around your house. Could the kids help with files or orders to be processed? Can an older child take charge of social media responsibilities? Families are designed to work with and support one another; getting them involved is a great way to do so.
Finding work-life balance can feel like the pursuit of a magical unicorn. I promise it does exist, so long as we are willing to make it a priority. Optimize your schedule. Rely on the Church. Involve your homegrown support system. It all goes a long way toward getting you back to a place of peace, and your guardian angel will thank you.
Copyright 2017 Jen Frost