Saturday, February 12, 2011

The laws of work-life balance (with apologies to Mr. Murphy)

Some time ago, I wrote a post about the Laws of Working Moms. Well, I'm still a working mom, and not much has changed on that front. But, since I write a lot about work-life balance -- and since my friends like to tease me that I write about work-life balance when I actually have none -- over at The 36-Hour Day I took a few moments to observe how Murphy's law affects my not-at-the-office life.

Read on...

1. You will find the thing you thought you had to replace -- minutes after you replace it. This has happened to me time and again. It's about to happen in regards to the only key my husband and I have to my beloved Saab 9-5. Which I haven't driven in about a year. Which no one has driven in about five months, which is when we "misplaced" the only key. The car is currently buried under about 14 feet of snow (I kid! Only 4 feet!) thanks to the fact that this has been one of the blizzardy-est winters in the history of Massachusetts. The key may be under there somewhere as well.

2. You will kick yourself. Often. Speaking of that key... can I count how many times I looked at it and thought, "I really ought to just skirt up and shell out the $100 or so to make a copy of that thing already. One of those days, we'll lose the only key and then where will we be?" Answer: We will be right here, kicking ourselves.

3. Your kids will sleep in on the one day that you need to be somewhere early. Where doesn't actually matter. You could have an early-morning meeting that can't be missed. You could have a business trip. They could have a field trip. Older kids might have an exam. It doesn't matter -- that's the day they will sleep in.

3a. Your kids will wake up extra-super-duper early on the one day you could have slept in. This pretty much goes without saying.

3b. And they will not be able to fall asleep on a night when you really, really need them to go to bed at a decent hour. See item 5, below.

4. You will pay off a major debt just in time to accrue another one. I recently changed jobs, and had to pay off a massive loan I'd taken out on my 401(k) (see, also: Being the breadwinner during a recession), just in time for massive preschool and daycare fees -- as well as life insurance, auto insurance, home owners insurance, and property taxes -- to come due.

5. You will pull strings and move mountains in order to remain alert and awake and, um, "in the mood" (cough, cough) after the kids are finally in bed, and then...

5a. see item 3b., above, or...

5b. Your significant other will fall asleep while putting the kids to bed, or...

5c. You will.

Readers, chime in: Which of Murphy's Laws of work-life balance have you experienced?

1 comment:

Working Mom Journal said...

I could totally relate :) especially with being the only breadwinner in this recession, and kids sleeping in.

Have a nice week.