Since we’re on a little getaway in Arizona right now, I thought I’d write a post today that is a bit more personal for our family. Sometimes I get a little (ok, a lot) overwhelmed by all the things I have to get done on any given day (can I get an amen?!). Between my husband and I, in addition to running North + Morello, Tim runs another business, I work part-time at our church doing administration, we are involved in various volunteering spaces, and we are super social people so we are constantly having people in our home. Most importantly though, we are the (super lucky) parents of a (super fun and super busy) one year old. Our son is in that stage right now where he’s exploring EVERYTHING. He’s constantly dragging things out from where we put them and every day we realize new things we have to move out of his little hands. He hides our phones in the laundry hamper, and puts car keys in his little toy barn, his hands in the toilet, and EVERYTHING into the garbage.
The bottom line is that we are super busy. And we like it that way. But. It also raises this question of how we balance work and family.
I think one thing that we have learned more and more over the last few years is learning to say no, knowing when to schedule in down time, and committing to playing together as a family often. Ultimately, for us, it comes down to planning ahead. Tim and I share a calendar on our iPhones and we put everything into the calendar. It’s been a great way for us to know what’s going on at a glance and helps us know when we should say yes or no to things that come up. We try to schedule our week so that we can have the same evenings/days off and we do our best to bring Jaron along whenever we plan to do something (except date night). Surprisingly, our little man is well-accustomed to being dragged along to places like the driving range, meetings at church, coffees with friends, Bachelor night, restaurants and sporting events. Sometimes it works out better than others, but ultimately I am glad that our son gets to see us in all different environments and knows and loves our friends too.
Saying yes to the things that make us come alive
I’m on a personal journey these days in discovering what things make me come alive inside, and saying yes to those things and being intentional about saying no to the things that drain me and suck energy out of our family. North + Morello is one of those things that brings so much life and energy to me – it hardly feels like work at all! I’m so grateful to be able to do this – it’s something that I love and it’s something that fits perfectly into our life.
Saying yes to things that are in line with our values
Tim and I have been pretty intentional about figuring out what our values are for our family and for our business. I thought I would take a minute and share some of the core values that we hold for both!
We value people. We believe that people are valuable and deserve our respect and care. We have chosen to intentionally invite people to do life with us in community, and we believe that treating our clients like we would treat our friends will ultimately only result in relationships that mutually benefit all of us.
We value communication. You’ll always know where you stand with us. We believe that relationships without trust and honesty aren’t really worth having. I have learned the hard way that some of the most ugly situations and hurtful experienced resulted simply out of a lack of open and respectful communication. I always think it’s better to have the hard conversations than to let something under the surface turn into something much worse.
We value hard work. We know that nothing comes without work and whatever we do, we throw ourselves into it 110%. We put the work in for our marriage and for our family, and we do the same for our business and our clients.
We value family. We respect your family and your needs, and we also protect our own. So that means that we won’t always be available 24/7. We’re currently on a 12 day trip to Arizona and our number one priority during our time here is resting and playing together as a family. Of course, we have to do a little bit of work (like right now, I’m sitting out by the pool while the little bear naps and Tim has some down time*), but it comes in second to what our family needs this week – spending time together without distractions. We regularly prioritize down time as a family and date nights for just the two of us. I try to spend at least an hour every afternoon with Jaron while I have my phone on Do Not Disturb (I don’t always succeed, but I’m getting better all the time!).
Saying no is ok
I have never had a really big problem with saying no to people, but I have always had a very high capacity to do a lot of things. As I’ve gotten older and now as a mom, I’ve discovered that my energy level is not the same as it always was. Caring for a busy toddler takes more energy than I thought. 10 months of sleep deprivation is still wearing on me. Many days I forget to eat breakfast with the busyness of mornings. So I’ve learned to say no to more things, even things that I love or want to do. This has been hard for me, because normally I would have the energy to “do it all” but that’s just not the case in this season. Staying focused on my family, friends and goals has been important for me as I pick and choose where to spend my energy. Now I consider things from the perspective of intentionally creating a healthy balance of things that bring me energy – like spending time with people, having occasional quiet time, and being creative – next to the things that take energy away from me. I’m still figuring it out, but being intentional about it has helped a LOT.
I’d love to hear how you balance work and family/self-care! What tools have you used to make it work for you? What values do you have that govern how you choose what to say yes to and no to?
*clearly I’ve been balancing family a lot more than work this week since it took me 5 days to get this actually posted haha!