Passionate About Tallahassee
and the Moms Who Live Here

Working Mom Life: “Sway” or “Balance”?

Recently, I read an article on thebalancecareers.com entitled “7 Resolutions to Help Working Moms Improve Their Work-Life Sway.” Am I the only one who had no idea what the “Work-Life Sway” was? Apparently it’s the idea that, instead of trying to balance our personal life and our professional life, we should concentrate on swaying back and forth between the two because our attempts to balance these two lives can come with the negative feeling of being “unbalanced.” Instead of trying to keep our lives balanced, we should accept that our lives will sway back and forth from professional to personal like the hips of a salsa dancer.

The author provides 7 resolutions to help moms get and stay in this mindset. They include taking time to reflect on all the work you’ve done, committing to a self-care plan, monitoring your sleep and exercise, strengthening your support system, color coding your calendar, committing to a work-life sway mindset, and setting personal and professional goals. It’s a great idea and there’s a lot about the concept that I like but, I wonder…

When did trying to attain balance in your life become a bad thing?

I guess I am still harkening back to life lessons learned in my childhood from that great philosopher and teacher, Mr. Miyagi. I remember distinctly his lessons on balance from “The Karate Kid.”:

Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home…Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have balance, everything be better.

To me, keeping balance has never been about staying perfectly still.

If you study any of the sports that require balance, you will notice it’s not about staying motionless. There are always small course corrections and adjustments needed to keep balance. Balance, to me and Mr. Miyagi, is all about keeping things centered. Sometimes, I need to work late but that doesn’t mean that I completely give up my personal life. I just make a small adjustment. Maybe I leave a little early the next day so I can plan a special dinner with my family. Sometimes, I have to leave work to attend a school conference so I work through lunch the next day to make up for it. It’s not always a perfect balance but, for me, it works. I try to keep my center and stay balanced, even when life throws me a couple ripples, by making small adjustments to my life.

The work-life sway concept arose from the negative feelings that arise from an unbalanced life. Imbalance can be a scary feeling. Remember how it felt when you were learning to ride your bike? Until you got the hang of keeping your balance by making small adjustments to your body, the idea of losing your balance and crashing to the ground was a very unappealing thought.

It’s scary to think that we might crash and burn in our lives because we can’t maintain balance but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to achieve it.

Whether you keep your sanity by maintaining your balance or by embracing the sway, the critical thing for a working mother is to find an outlook on your life that helps us get the most out of both our personal and professional lives. I think Mr. Miaygi would approve.

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