“Mom, can I have some of your business?”
I looked away from the computer, wondering what my daughter was talking about. “What, baby?”
“You’re working, right?”
“Is that business?”
“Well, can I have some of your business?” she asked.
“You want to work with me?”
“No, I want playing with me to be part of your business.”
I hit save and shut the computer. I didn’t bother to finish what I was working on, because I knew it would still be there when I came back to it. But this little girl won’t keep. When I look back in 10 years, I won’t remember the work assignment, but I will remember these moments with my daughter. So I told her the truth. “Playing with you is my favorite business.”
I know we aren’t the only family that has had to find a new work-life balance this year.
Many of us have been working from home in the last year and it’s had its moments.
That being said, I’d like to make the argument that this work/play/school/life juggle has been a good thing for my family. Our daughter has seen that work is not a mystical thing that mom and dad do when she’s not around. On the contrary, work is something that requires effort, commitment, and sometimes sacrifice.
My husband and I work because we need money for essentials and fun extras. But we also work because we find satisfaction in doing something well, providing a valuable service, and meeting new challenges. Sometimes it’s a drag, but it is also a privilege.
Yes, our daughter has had to be patient and do some things for herself this year, but do you know what else she’s done? She’s watched mom and dad prioritize the way we care for our family.
While our priorities never change, the way we manage those priorities often has to.
We are fortunate to have jobs to juggle. We do those jobs gladly because they afford us the ability to be together and live a beautiful life. But while everything else may fall to the wayside or get pushed to the back burner, our family remains. Everything we do is for this family and the little human that thinks we’ve got it all together. I’m grateful that she has been witness to the real and loving juggle that that can sometimes be.
There is always work to be done and even when that must be tended to on a schedule, it’s only ever done because our our family is our top priority.
Work-life balance? It’s an evolving thing. We’d be doing ourselves a favor to remember that while that balance will shift with time, circumstance, and responsibility, the priorities that gauge it are steadfast.
Next time I’m feeling off balance, I hope all it takes to recalibrate is remembering that this family is my priority. And for now? For now, work can wait a few minutes because playing with this girl is my most important business.