Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
August 8, 2011
Issue #34 

Lessons Learned the Week I Fell Off the Work-Life Wagon


Full disclosure: The above title should read, "The Two Weeks I Fell Off the Work-Life Wagon." Here's what happened: school let out, camp hadn't yet started, and I was slammed with work. I was working dawn to dusk, Sundays and July 4th, and it wasn't so pretty for my family. We survived, and like any challenge once conquered, I can now look back and share with you what I learned in the process:


  1. Kids' brains don't deteriorate from the occasional TV marathon. 

    Though normally pretty restrictive about what and how much TV my kids watch, I seriously relaxed the rules. They were as happy as clams to zone out in front of the TV, and I was able to get a ton of work done without forking over huge sums of money to a babysitter.


  2. Delegation is the key to survival (a.k.a. My husband and kids are way more capable than they let on).  
    My husband dropped kids off at camp, ran to the grocery store, and took on just about every domestic task I was ignoring. My kids folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher, and occasionally complained, but for the most part, were willing to help whenever asked. (Yes, I know, it's likely their compliance was related to the knowledge that Mom was soon going to let them watch more TV.) Bottom line: I definitely couldn't have focused on my work without the help of my family, which just reinforces the idea, that delegation is critical, and there will be a lot more of it happening in my house going forward.

  3. It's essential to say "yes" when a friend offers help.  

    When my dear friend, Leslie, offered to watch all of my kids (along with her four kids!) for the better part of a day, I felt guilty accepting help but reluctantly said "OK." When she called mid-day to say, "No need to get them at 2:30, come at 4:30 instead because the kids are having a great time," I nearly passed out from shock, but was extremely grateful. Her generosity provided me with a much needed full day of work, and taught me that sometimes it's important to let others know you need help and to accept it when it's offered.


  4. Our lives didn't fall apart due to our lower standards.

    No one died of scurvy or had to wear dirty clothes (well, maybe a little dirty). Social services didn't come calling, nor did Martha Stewart show up to criticize my sub-standard housekeeping or spartan meals. If anything, not only did we survive, but we all learned that we can pull together and push through, even during the challenging times. And that's a lesson that was good for my kids, and one which all of us should remember.


Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


Faun Zarge Logo

Forward to a Friend