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Shoshana Bennett: Harmony, Not Balance

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Whether working full time, part time, outside the home or within, women are forever chasing that mythical, and elusive “Balance” of work and family. Although we’ve been warned that this goal may be challenging, it’s truly a deception that it is possible to achieve it at all. The expectation of grasping and sustaining that perfectly-aligned horizontal scale (as easy as aligning the stars) is totally unrealistic and a sure way to feel like a guilt-ridden failure. An exact 50/50 percentage, 30/70 or whatever fits our “perfect picture” is not what we should be reaching for.

Instead, it’s Harmony that’s the healthy goal, since it’s attainable and sets us up for success. The work and home aspects of our lives are like a river, continually ebbing and flowing. Some weeks may find us focusing more heavily on work; and others more on the home. That’s normal and to be expected. For instance, if one spends extra hours during the week finishing a work project, then, the following week, one can focus on scheduling fun with the kids and partner.

With this new mentality, and as long as our lives don’t become too lopsided for too long, there will be no room for the old guilt. Women can relax into the flow, trusting with confidence that in the big picture, both of these important areas of our lives are being nurtured.

Shoshana S. Bennett, Ph.D.
Author, Postpartum Depression For Dummies
Author, Beyond the Baby Blues audio series

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.