By: Tracey Manailescu
Did this wedding season seem overwhelming? Clients suddenly demanded too much of your time and energy? Did you neglect everyone important in your life for the success of your company and couples? Wait a minute…Maybe it wasn’t them… Maybe, just maybe, it was you!
As planners, it is in us to take charge, make sure everything is going as it should, and to be on top of everything. However, that should not mean having to give up your entire home life routine. Your family and friends need you, too. We hear all to often about that infamous work/home life balance, and how it is so difficult to please everyone. How do you balance it all and still be a good mother/father, wife/husband, sister, friend, etc? Truthfully, there is no magic sytem to put in place, but there are ways you can deal.
I have mentioned this before…A few years ago, Danielle and I were in this exact position. We were taking on way too much, traveling, teaching all over Canada and abroad, attending conferences and speaking at many of them, going on FAM trips, and working 12-14 hour days. Our families suffered because of it. We were both at the point where our husbands had had enough. We had to decide what was best for us and of course, we chose our families first. We hired more instructors to teach the classes for us, we brought in interns to the office and we had to just say, “no”, to some great opportunities. Do we regret it? Not at all.
Here are some things to consider:
You Don’t Have to Do it All: You are not a Stepford Wife (aka: Robot). Do your children really need to be in figure skating, football,hockey, tutoring, soccer, gymnastics, AND swimming? Cut something out. Can you hire a maid, dog walker, share the driving back and forth to childrens’ activities with another parent, or give up cooking the elaborate meals all of the time? Take a step back and re-evaluate.
Break up the “To Do”tasks. Similar to what you do with clients, break the list down (whether it is in your business or personal life) and focus on daily, weekly and monthly tasks, instead of the complete scenario. It suddenly becomes manageable, instead of completely overwhelming.
Prioritize: Take those lists and get to them. Whatever seems the most challenging and dreaded things to do, do them first! Get them out of the way.
Delegate to Your Couples: Put some of the ownership back on your couples (it is their wedding after all). Give some duties to the mothers. Not only will it please them, but it will make them feel connected and a necessary part of the wedding planning process. Sometimes we forget how much the parents want (and need) to be a part of this huge day in their childrens’ lives. It is better to help guide with the direction it will go, then have them choose it on their own, right? Suggest things that their wedding party should/could be doing to help out. Having you sort through the never-ending duties and responsibilities, and then make suggestions on how to tackle them will put everyone at ease. You can suggest a girls night-in. Ordering in from their favourite restaurant and of course, providing cocktails. The night will just happen to involve some DIY/DIT projects (*DIT is the new “it” thing to do, which stands for “Do It Together”). How can they say no?
Delegate to Your Family Members: The same thing applies for your home life as it does for your work life. Are you pulling more weight than you should at home? Can the children take on more chores? Can your other half help out a bit more? Maybe you need to sit down and have a family talk.
Consider What This Can Do for Your Business: Is it going to make you more money, or get your company media attention? Will it open possibilities to you that just weren’t there before? If not, do you really need to add this to your busy schedule? You don’t need to take every opportunity that comes along.
Diet and Excercise: I know, I know. You hear this all of the time. It’s true though. Every single time I gain weight, I feel awful about myself, and my confidence goes downhill. So, I’ve just joined a new gym that’s closer to my home. I needed to stop making excuses and get back into a routine. (Sadly, I paid bi-monthly for about 6 years at another gym that I went to sporadically at best). I’ve enlisted a friend to go with, and we are accountable to each other. I found that this helps a lot, as I can’t make excuses when she is relying on me to go with her. Now if only I could give up popcorn…
Get a Good Sleep: I don’t know about you, but I am not at my best without 6-8 hours of sleep. I get grumpy, and have little patience for the silly things that come up on a daily basis when I am tired. I have way more patience and can face the challenges at work and home much better when I am rested.
Make Time for Those You Love: Schedule girls nights out once or twice a month with your besties (even more if you can) set regular date nights with your signifigant other (no kids allowed), do things as a family that do not involve TV. It really helps! It gives you a chance to laugh, let loose and just be you, not work you.
Laugh: Take time to appreciate the little things, and be around those that make you laugh and smile.
What are some things that you find helpful to deal with stress?