The Life-Work Balance Myth

Posted on: Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dear Amy,

I'm totally down for our joint Halloween party... even if it is just you, me, Aaron, Jon, our dogs and our kids attending. Maybe by then we'll have kids who are old enough to have friends. And we'll invite them. It'll be fun. And kids parties are so much less intimidating. We need to discuss Halloween... but I think it deserves a full week of posting. Plus, I need time for my mom to track down a few old Halloween costume pictures (I was always the creative girl when it came to costumes... a sandwich, the sky...).

Let's discuss your job. Congratulations! I'm so excited that it only took you a week (!!!) to find a job. And one right up your alley. That's so awesome. It sounds perfect for you. Living the life we do, it's so totally hard to build a career. I get that. I'm so extremely lucky that I found a job that I can take with me when we have to pack up and leave. And the fact that it's in the field I've always wanted to work in, and, oh, I just love it? I'm ridiculously lucky.

My favorite boss.
I mentioned something shortly after Harry was born to Jon which made us both laugh a little bit. He's got 8 more years left of his AF commitment (we just got to cross off another year this week! Woo hoo!). I mentioned that with the nature of his job, and us starting a family, I think we made the decision to make his career a priority. Again, I can't say enough how lucky I am that I can work from home and be with Harry... but when we add to our brood, or when Harry needs more... that home-work-parenting-life balance (which, who am I kidding, it's more like a juggling act done by a one handed clown than a balance) is going to suffer.

Juggling fail. But I kind of love the tornado of stuff that follows him.
I've gone through many schools of thinking when it comes to working and raising a family. I started out thinking I wanted to do both. And then I was a nanny, and I decided I wanted to be a stay at home mom. And then I found this job and realized I was getting the best of both worlds (kind of). But I'm not closed off to the option that one day I may have to cut back at work, or stay home altogether. I'm not sure if that day will come, but if it does, I'm prepared mentally.

He's really excited about cat toys.
So back to the thing that made us both chuckle. I mentioned that having Harry means we may have just chosen to put our time and efforts into Jon's career. And then I realized we chose Jon's career when he commissioned into the USAF and promised to move wherever they sent him. Including Oklahoma, where I made less hourly than I have ever made in a single job (including my first babysitting gig). Including Arkansas, where we were only stationed for six months. Including Mississippi, where the Airman & Family Readiness Center Representative told Jon and all the other in-processing fools to really crunch numbers and decide if their spouses really should work. Because there are no jobs for us. We chose Jon's career, and I'm weirdly okay with that.

My time will come. And honestly, my time really is now. This little family is my world. And taking care of our life is the best job ever. Even if it is only one of three/four/ten? jobs I have right now.

Woah. We just got deep on a Thursday. Do you feel like you had to choose one of your careers over the others? Do you ever resent that? Or maybe you've found a way to see the ever growing resume as something exciting. Never getting stale. How do you stay motivated lady? You are a total inspiration.

x's & o's to you


  1. Mallory,

    It's good to know that Mississippi hasn't changed much since we've been there. (Side note- I ran into a woman whose husband was stationed at Keesler in the 90's. She told stories that sounded like the ones I knew...and we were there 10 years earlier. #MississippiComfort)

    Regarding careers, we deal with that even now- with both of us working from home. Scott's takes precedence. Always. It might sound a bit odd- 2 parents, working from home, and 1 baby with a distant teen, but it does.

    Nearly everything I do revolves around his time, and I've made that my choice. Why? His career provides for us in ways that are integral to our family. It marks our foundations in so many ways.

    I understand it. I accept it. Some days it's easy and some days not so much. Just this morning, I awoke at 440 to get work done. Thankfully, my girl and man are still sleeping, so I can do more now.

    We figure it out day by day with great communication. We sit back. We listen. We constantly re-evaluate what we're doing, why, and if it's best. We trust. We let go. We live. We laugh.

    Sure, we cry and have moments like that, too. Yet, it's our belief in what we're doing that guides us.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Best to you all.


    1. It's so great to hear that I'm not the only one who has tossed the idea of a "work/life balance" out the window. I'm convinced they don't exist with kids. Especially when you work from home. Thanks for the love Wendy. XO, Mallory


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