Recently, I talked with several working parents about what work-life balance looks like for them typically and during the pandemic. In a perfect world, your time and energy would be spread across work, family, and personal activities like this:

Is this what your life looks like? How does your family stage (infants through teenagers) impact how much time and energy you spend on family work?

When the world turns right side up after finding better ways to manage Covid-19, will work-life balance be possible? Was it ever pre-pandemic?

I believe work-life balance is a myth and here’s why.

Work-Life Balance Is a Myth

Imagine a seesaw at the playground with Amazon boxes stacked evenly one on top of the other on each side so that the seesaw is perfectly level. While you could stack the boxes to balance the seesaw, work and life don’t work the same way.

Work and family responsibilities don’t stack up evenly and balance each other out. Somedays, work takes priority and home takes a hit. Other days, family takes priority, and work takes a back seat. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for your work, family, and personal activities is neither realistic nor enjoyable.

To replace the concept of balance, experts use words such as work-life …

  • Effectiveness
  • Integration
  • Blend
  • Harmony
  • And others

I prefer the word “mix” because it allows work-life to change as we change. Or, when the unexpected happens like working from home and caring for and educating children.

Mixing Bowl

The mark of a talented baker is one who mixes the non-negotiable ingredients for a cake plus experiments with available flavors and add-ins. If it weren’t for Europeans in the Middle Ages using carrots as a replacement for expensive sugar, carrot cake — my favorite — wouldn’t exist. Don’t like walnuts in your cake, add pecans.

Just like a recipe, you can take control of your work-life mix so that it meets your needs and desires.

Original Recipe

Designing a healthy work-life mix is an individual journey that requires response to normal twists and turns. The right mix for you today depends on your career and life stage. A healthy blend of work priorities and life priorities when you’re single looks different compared to when you have children or start a new career versus when you’re midcareer.

And no perfect one-size-fits-all solution exists. The best work-life mix is different for each of us based on our values, goals, and dreams. It requires intention. You, no one else, must take charge of your choices in work + life to design your most healthy mix.

While not easy, it’s pretty simple. Following the Work-Life Rebalance Formula is a great place to start if you want to redefine how to work, parent, and achieve financial freedom on your terms.

Rebalance Wellbeing offers coaching and courses to do just that. Start by taking the quiz What Is Your Work-Life Power Level?

Rebalance Your Wellbeing by Increasing Your Work-Life Power

Take the quiz. Then get a free guide with strategies to control your workload and not hurt career advancement.

Get This Guide with Your Quiz Results


About the Author

I coach professionals to redefine how to work, parent, and achieve financial freedom without sacrificing wellbeing. Motherhood, marriage, chronic illness, divorce, remarriage, and caring for aging loved ones contribute significantly to my story. Together, we can help you reach your full potential — on your terms.

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