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Sometimes you might feel guilty that you’re not doing the very best work that you could do. Sometimes, you might be frustrated that you’re not being the best parent, best spouse… but how can you possibly when you’re trying to do it all, all of the time? Read on for five ways I’ve found talk to be effective in finding your balance between kids, work, career and parenting.

If you’d rather listen instead of reading, check out the podcast version below! There’s also a video version on YouTube found below:

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Five Ways to Support Your Balance of Career, Family, Life, Work, Marriage and Children

Hey guys! It’s Ms. Chelsea here.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about five ways to support your balance of career, family, life, work, marriage, children… everything like that.

So a little background information, right now I have two children: I have Molly Mae, she’s six months. And I have Michael, he’s two years old. 

My two children, Molly and Michael

And also, Paul and I have a music school that we are co-founders of. And we also teach there, and then we’re also performing.

RED recital group 2019 Advanced

And that’s kind of the phase of life that we’re in right now. So we’re kind of in the middle of—I would feel like it’s a little bit of a grind period. Having the young ones, it’s definitely more of a grind than when it was when we did not have children.

How to Support Your Balance, Way No. 1: Take Turns

So, way number one. Take turns. What this means is, I will take turns in my roles.

Because you can’t do it all, all the time. You just can’t. And we try, right? We try SO hard to do it all but we can’t.

So for example, one part of the day, in the morning, before the kids are awake, this is my ‘turn’ to be the businesswoman, where I’m checking on things in the music school. I’m working on different areas of marketing with our marketing manager, or I’m responding to a lot of emails, or I’m looking ahead, or I’m planning some kind of program or performance for the kids coming up.

And then maybe once the kids wake up, I’m like, “Okay, my turn to be a businesswoman is over, and now I’m going to take a turn, and I’m going to be a mom right now.” And then, it’s like a hundred percent trying to be focused with the kids, whatever that they’re doing.

Being there, being present. So hard, right? So, so, so hard.

And then maybe later in the day, say, the kids are taking a nap. (Not that they nap at the same time, but like once every two weeks. Maybe there’s a window of like a half-hour where they are napping at the same time, and it’s wonderful!)

During that time, maybe that’s my time to be a wife. And then I take all my focus and attention on my husband, and I check in with him and I talk to him, and I try to connect with him. 

RED recital group 2019 Advanced

And then maybe later on in the day, I really focus on keeping the house comfortable, keeping the house clean, keeping the house organized. For me, my environment is everything. I will put my environment above a lot of other things because if my environment is calm and organized, and it just seems to be a creative and peaceful place, then that’s how I feel. So that’s really important to me.

So then maybe in the evenings, I’ll just do this big whirlwind cleanup and work on making the house just shine, the counters just sparkle, the glass, I use glass cleaner and everything. And then that makes me feel a certain way.

So basically, using all of these different roles in the course of one day, taking turns. Because you can’t always be the best person for your business, you can’t always be the best mother, you can’t always be the best wife. Not when you’re trying to do them all a hundred percent, a hundred percent of the time. 

You can’t always be the best person for your business, you can’t always be the best mother, you can’t always be the best wife.
Not when you’re trying to do them all a hundred percent, a hundred percent of the time.

So for me, I take turns, giving each thing a little bit of a priority throughout the day.

And then at the end of the day, it makes me feel better, because I feel like, “Okay, I did have time when I was present with my kids. I did have time when I was productive getting this done. I did dadada…” All of that kind of thing.

How to Support Your Balance, Way No. 2: Take Care of Yourself

Alright, number two: take care of yourself. This one we just love, right? It’s like, “Oh yeah take care of yourself, I know.”

But when you think about it, you really really… How can I be the best, most patient mother if I’m not taking care of myself? If I am going to bed super late and then my kids are up in the night, and my kids are up super early in the morning… I’m really tired the next day!

And when I’m really tired, I’m not patient. And when I’m not patient, I lose my patience with my children.

The fuse is like, pew! And I don’t want my kids to see me like that. I don’t want that, and it makes me feel bad about myself.

And it could be this cyclical thing. Right?

And so that’s one thing I can do to take care of myself is make sure that I’m getting the proper amount of rest as much as it is in my control. Going to bed early is a lot easier than trying to sleep in when you have kids.

And another thing that I can do to take care of myself is I can exercise in some way. Not saying that it has to be some HIIT workout or some plyometric type of thing. But it has to be something that gets my blood flowing, that makes me feel like a person, that makes me feel alive.

Chelsea in Ohio State University

Because when I exercise? Even if it’s just walking, sometimes I will walk and do emails on the phone, or do like a voice to command memo and that’s one thing that I’m able to actually do at the same time. But then when I think about it, I’m like,

“Oh wow! I was just walking for thirty minutes and I wasn’t even really paying attention. But I was walking and I walked blah-blah a mile. And I was able to get these emails done, too.”

And so exercise is so, so important for me just to clear my mind, to make me feel alive, and to feel like I have more motivation, I have more creativity, I’m a happier person. There’s the endorphins, everything like that. It helps lower your stress.

I mean, you don’t need me to tell you that exercise is important.

And then also for me, me time, that is a really big one for me because both Paul and I probably don’t feel like we get enough me time. It’s hard because there’s two children and they’re very dependent on you. And that’s just the phase that we’re in.

So sometimes I will hire a babysitter just so I can have some me-time, or feel like I can do administrative work and not have interruptions. At first, sometimes I would try to do administrative work while I’m with the kids and I realized it just ends up being this really frustrating mess!

Chelsea in Ohio State University

Because one, I’m not really able to work efficiently because there’s constant interruption after interruption after interruption. Two, my kids aren’t getting quality, good time with me anyway. So if I can hire a babysitter for, say, an hour or two randomly, then I’m able to work really really efficiently. My kids are able to have a really fun playtime. And everybody wins that way!

So, that’s really important, to take care of yourself. Whatever that means, to take care of yourself, number one. You’ve got to take care of yourself…

…to be a good wife,

…to be a good partner,

…to be a good leader,

…to be a good teacher,

…to be a good family member.

Everything! You have to come first, as far as your mental, physical health.

How to Support Your Balance, Way No. 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Chelsea in Ohio State University

Alright. Number three: don’t be afraid to ask for help. This one is hard, this one can be hard for a lot of people because we all want to be able to do it all, and sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.

So sometimes, what I would do is I will think about all of the things that have to get done for life to sync. So for example. I have to…

  1. I have to teach my students,
  2. I have to watch my children,
  3. I have to have meals,
  4. There has to be laundry that’s done throughout the week and put away,
  5. And there has to be cleaning that’s done.
  6. There has to be things done behind the scenes for the music school, and making sure everything is working okay, or checking in with people, and overseeing things.

And so out of all of those things that I’m thinking about, what can I do the best?

So for me, okay well… My students, I love teaching them. And could I find somebody random to do that better than me? Um, probably not. There are wonderful teachers, of course, but in this particular circle of my life and the people that I have helping and my support system, I am the best person for my particular students.

Also going along that line, thinking about my children, I am the best person to be raising my children. Not anybody else.

So thinking about those things, and then going and thinking about, “Okay, well, what else needs to be done?” Well, the laundry has to be done and put away each week.

Chelsea in Ohio State University

Am I the best person to put away the laundry? No. I could find help easily to put away the laundry. That really doesn’t matter as much.

So I take something that doesn’t matter as much, and try to delegate, or ask for help, or outsource.

So for example, if you have all of these things on your plate, but then you think about this, being a mom and being a teacher, that’s my life career and then my passion career. Both of those things, I’m the best person for that in my particular circle.

But also the laundry has to be done so maybe I will hire out somebody to come for two hours out of the week and take care of the laundry. And it’s a reasonable rate for them, and it gives me peace of mind of one thing to cross off the list.

And you might think, “Well, I don’t have the money to hire somebody to do the laundry,”

But I mean, it’s two hours, okay? Two hours a week, first off.

And then how I look at it is I can’t afford not to. There is way too much stuff going on, when you think about it. I mean, there’s birthday gifts, there’s remembering all the holidays. There’s keeping the family in sync. There’s spending time with the children. There’s your job, there’s performing, there’s being a good wife, there’s making sure things are working out with the house. There’s working on meals and making sure that the cars are maintenanced and gassed…

And it’s just like- There’s way too much, right? Way too much for one person. So if there’s a couple things that I can just outsource or delegate to somebody else who would do a fantastic job…

Why not?

I can’t afford not to because that’s my sanity. And you can’t get that back very easily once you lose that. (I already feel like I’ve lost it a lot, but you know. We’re working on getting it back.) So I think that’s so, so important. 

Chelsea and Paul Melcher of Red School of Music

How to Support Your Balance, Way No. 4: Everyday is a New Day

So, number four. Every day is a new day. Some days are just a crapshoot, let’s be serious, right?

Some days, you’re not motivated, you’re in a grumpy mood, or you’re upset, or you feel depressed. You don’t feel like you want to get out of bed. Whatever it is, some days are just gonna be crappy days.

But if I were to say, “Okay, that’s, you know, that’s my life now. That’s how things are gonna be,” then I would never get anywhere.

But then at the end of the day—I’m a list-maker, so I will make a list at the end of the day of all the things that I want to do the next day, including my schedule. And I just treat everyday as a new day.

A lot of times, you’ll hear about this with people in different diets, right? So they’ll go off the bandwagon and they’ll be like, “Oh well I had a crappy day and I got cheeseburger and pizza and ice cream and I ate all this and I just sat on the couch all day and blah blah…”

But then it’s like, okay, but what about the next day?

You can start every day square one, there’s no kind of trickle effect that has to be. Every day is a new day and you can just boop! Start over brand new.

Remember that, because that’s important too, that there’s not all these heaviness hanging over your head from previous things, of things you should have done or should not have done or mistakes that you shouldn’t have made, all that kind of stuff.

How to Support Your Balance, Way No. 5: Give Yourself Grace 

Chelsea and Molly Mae

So now, the last but not the least, probably the most important out of all of them. Number five: give yourself grace.

Oh, my gosh. We can be so mean to ourselves. And we can expect so much—so much that it’s impossible. And then you think about how you are to your friends, how nice you are to your friends…

If your friend was like, “Well, I didn’t get this done, but I was able to do this. But I wasn’t able to spend time with my kids but I got something from my work done. But I just feel like such a bad mother,” Or “I lost my patience with my kid today.”

You wouldn’t be like, “Ugh, how dare you, you’re a terrible person, like ugh. Gosh.”

No! We’re not like that, right?

But why are we so mean to ourselves? It doesn’t make any sense!

And so giving yourself the kind of grace that you would give to somebody else, being the best friend… Everybody needs that best friend where you can be totally honest and be like, “Yeah, I totally failed at blah blah today,” and they’ll be like, “Hey, it’s okay! It happens, things like that are normal,”

Chelsea and a voice student at the studio

You need that kind of love, that reassurance, that support. That’s what we all need to give to ourselves.

That’s why it’s so important for me to give and find support with other people who I know have been through the same thing as me, and know best how to help and provide support. (If you’re a musician, or music major that has felt lost or drowning in the course of life, I have a support system that might be of help.)

I don’t know why, but we are so hard on ourselves. It doesn’t make any sense, but it definitely needs to change. Giving yourself the same grace that you give to other people that you love. Giving them the benefit of the doubt. Giving them encouragement and reassurance, that’s all we need to give to ourselves, because we can’t do it all. It’s too much, it’s so much.

Nobody can do it all, right? And you can be a workaholic. Or you could be a mom-a-holic. (I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but we’re gonna pretend that it is.)

It’s just so hard. Nobody’s perfect, we are all trying to figure it out. Every day, we are trying to figure it out.

I don’t have anything figured out. Once in a while, I figure out a few things and I like to share ’em. And I need to take my own advice as well. In some days, I take my advice beautifully and I’m like, “Sweet! This is rockin’, life is rockin’.”

And other days, I’m not taking my own advice and I need to listen to my own podcast, and my own videos because gosh, it is hard. 

Studio image (1)

How to Support Your Balance: Recap and Conclusion

So to recap: five ways to support your balance of career, family, life, all the things.

One, take turns. Be a mom, then be a wife, then be a businessperson. Not all at the same time.

Number two, take care of yourself. You know what to do. Exercise, you time, whatever it is.

Number three, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to delegate, outsource things that are not as important or that it’s not essential for you specifically to do them. Just as long as they get done.

And number four: everyday is a new day. Don’t hold on to any past guilt of the day before or the week before. Just start each day brand new.

And number five: give yourself a little bit of grace, because we just are all in this together and doing the best that we can.

Alright, thanks so much. It was so great to spend this time with you, hope it helps in some way. Alright, see ya!