Is there such thing as home/work balance?

Many years ago I sold Mary Kay Cosmetics.  One of the founding prnciples of the company is “Faith first, family second, career third.”  Conceptually right on the mark of how I believe we should all approach our lives.  But practically we are all in a constant struggle to figure out what that looks like on a day to day basis.

When I was a homemaker and “career” was this sort of vague thing that I did on the side it was easy to prioritize my faith and family first and live in perfect balance.  But now that I am working it tends to get the largest portion of my day.  I don’t feel balanced at all.  If we were going solely on how I spend my time you would conclude that I, along with most working women, consider career the most important thing in my ife.

There are many books and articles written on the topic of work/family balance.  Most of them seem to be about streamlining the home/family life so that we can get on with our work.  That doesn’t sound like balance to me that just sounds like necessary efficiency during this time crunched phase of life.

But if the goal is not balance then what is it?  If family is the most important thing but we are working half the day how is that reflected?  I believe it is reflected in our attitudes.

If you believe that you and your children, marriage, home, relationships can thrive while you are working, they will believe it and they will thrive.  Learning to do it all in a way that doesn’t cause lots of stress will take time to develop but the first step toward figuring it all out is having the right attitude.  As Chuck Swindoll puts it,

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company . . . a church . . . a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our attitudes.”

What kind of attitude are you going to have today?