• Michael Barrows

VO blog:The Work Life Balance

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

So right now in the UK, its half term. So my 2 and 4 year old are at home. I've taken the week off so i can provide childcare whilst my wife finishes her University Nursing placement. To be honest, I'm knackered. Throughout all three lockdowns i have continued to work full time. Holiday time off work is not holiday time but time with the kids who are largely stuck inside because other than going to the local park and walks, aren't able to go anywhere.

So i'm floating between an emotionally demanding job and home life. I've taken on a little more responsibility with the kids with my wife being at university and i'm trying to create a whole new project that could take all my time if i let it. So... I'm trying to find that balance of me, my family, my work and my future.

I'm coming up to the 2nd month of getting things started and i have to keep checking in with my expectations. I'm trying to fit in auditioning for jobs, working on the site, watching webinars, managing my website, script writing and managing my own personal time/needs. Its hard and i don't want to reach a point of burn out because i know when i get tired, I'm prone to negative thoughts that often follow the line of 'whats the point, you're just not going to get anywhere'. So what's my plan? I'm meant to be a mental health professional, who is at risk of their own mental health failing.

So, I've asked myself, what would i tell someone else to do? Kids come first, my kids are the most important to me and they will always be my priority, so if i have to pause my work for childcare, i will. I may not always be happy about it and i may curse the moment when it happens but i would regret it if i wasn't there. Same goes for my marriage, in the word of Tony Robins, if i am not filling her up with good energy then how can i expect the same from her .

So already i have to surrender to the fact that i cannot be in control of everything and i need to prioritise. Some days are just going to go wrong, they are not going to go to plan and i just need to ride that wave. The other thing i need to avoid is my old habit of slipping into my escapism bubble, because i'm not doing anything because i believe i can't. It reminds me a lot of the 'Serenity Prayer'

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

I need to get brave and do what i can do. At the moment I'm fitting what i can when i can, but i have to also know my limits and i have to enjoy what i do. If i am not enjoying it then i am doing it too much or its not the right time. So this is the next thing i have to monitor, my day to day feelings. I also have to remember i am a human being trying to change my normal way of being, my old habits are going to creep in where i slip into an escapism bubble to just pass time. But if i am mindful of how i create my own barriers and avoid my self sabotaging ways i am a little bit closer.

On being brave, i just need to get out there, create a bit of a schedule and just keep the momentum. If i need to rest then rest but plan when i'm getting back on it rather than the 'i'll do it later' type thinking leading the way. I've already signed up to talk on 6 different podcasts via, to talk about mental health so this is a good starting point and i am auditioning for jobs on Mandy. Before my relax time, listen to a podcast, watch a webinar, attend monthly voice over socials and just remind myself that this is only the beginning and kingdoms weren't built in a day

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