Parenting Pathway #148: The Life-Work Equation

It seems like I have spent my entire adult life in search of work-life balance. In reality, I didn’t give much thought to balancing my life in relation to my work until I had something that demanded all of my time not spent working or sleeping. What is that something you ask? In my case it is two somethings, my children.

Over the course of the next several weeks I will be sharing my observations, experiences, and theories on this topic as well as those of others who have navigated a similar path. I would also be interested in how you have tackled this struggle • so feel free to email me or send me feedback with your thoughts on the matter. 

The overarching question is: How do you balance the time you devote to your self and your family with the hours you spend working? Does it matter whether you are indulging, cultivating, encouraging, and/or embracing that which you are most passionate about, or just generating income so that you have a life outside work?

The word balance for most people conjures up images of scales and see-saws. To achieve balance with this mindset, one needs to apply equal weight on both sides of a midpoint. So, in order to achieve a work life balance, all you have to do is devote as much time to everything that is not work as you do to what is work — right? And, as long as you don’t work 12 hour days, 7 days a week you should feel pretty good that the life side of your scale outweighs the work side • right?

Of course that is a ridiculous notion, because anyone who works even forty hours a week does not have equal time for non-work obligations, endeavors, and pursuits because approximately one third of every day must be devoted to something every human being needs to survive: rest, rejuvenation, sleep. 

Taking into account the sleep factor, and other facets of life that I will write about in future provisions, the scale metaphor just doesn’t work. Juggling is a much better analogy for me.

Everyone has more than two factors in their life-work equation that they seek to balance. Each factor represents a ball tossed in the air and each one is either suspended or held close depending on the day, the hour, or the interaction and proximity with the other factors. Achieving balance is when all the balls float in a smooth state of flux, like the particles of an atom or the planets and moons in our solar system.

Juggling all the balls is how work-life balance feels to me, and I hope you will enjoy my reflections in the weeks ahead.

Coaching Inquiries: How many factors of your life can you identify that you seek to juggle on a daily, weekly, monthly or even annual basis? How would you rate yourself as a juggler? Are there things that you can toss into orbit and only revisit every so often, so that those other factors that you hold most dear are given adequate attention?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Parenting Coaching Programs or to arrange for a complementary coaching session, Click Here or Email Amy.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Amy Haas (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

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