There’s no such thing as a work-life balance. It’s a myth.
This realisation came after a decade working in the corporate world, newly married but not yet ready to start a family. I wasn’t unhappy but I felt flat.
As an ambitious ‘career woman’, I’d meticulously planned every move. Starting with my PR agency internship working with brands like EON and Tesco, through to government campaigning, and then working a step down from the Board of the world’s largest book publisher.
Yet, suddenly, things didn’t feel quite the same and I didn’t know why. I’d started dabbling with yoga and decided to start 2016 afresh by going on a retreat. I had no idea at the time that it was going to change my life. A few months later, I took a yoga class
on my honeymoon, and the teacher afterwards asked me if I was a yoga teacher. I had never even considered training, yet by the end of 2016 I was a qualified yoga teacher and had left my secure well-paid job to focus more on doing more of what I loved.
I no longer wanted to settle for juggling work and life. I wanted work to be just one part of a balanced life which I was consciously creating for myself each day. Where other parts of life – like relationships, physical environment and personal growth – were aligned with my work and vice versa.
It was such a leap of faith setting up my company and it was duly rewarded with an amazingly well-paid freelance contract that allowed me to earn while I built my client base. However, while work was going great and we conceived our daughter very quickly in 2017, my pregnancy was challenging. I had to step away from my yoga mat when I needed it most, as I experienced vanishing twin syndrome (losing one of our twins), gestational diabetes and had a near fatal hemorrhage during my labour.
I was told later that I’d had a seven second window to be kept alive at the rate I was hemorrhaging. I remember thinking that, while the seemingly ‘easier’ choice would be to go back to doing what I knew so well, as a paid employee or contractor, after maternity leave, I had another chance to start again – this time as a balanced, authentic and aligned business owner.
In my professional life I’d coached leaders and helped countless clients to create space and connect with themselves on the yoga mat. In my personal life I’d felt the fear and done things anyway, and started turning my struggles into gifts for others to benefit
Balance became a daily practice for me and something busy working women regularly asked me about. It was often this thing women thought you could ‘have’ if you were lucky but didn’t understand how to create it themselves. I’d bust the work-life balance myth, show them numbers they couldn’t argue with about how they were choosing to spend their time and encourage them to step back into their power to create the balanced life they wanted. In balance, I believe, women truly thrive
as leaders, entrepreneurs, partners, mothers and more so while making time to do things that restore your balance often are low on the priority list, they’re critical to sustained successful business.
Over the years, I’ve stepped away from toxic friends, hugely cut down on TV and gone sober to restore my own balance. For years I had no idea how much I was giving to these things and then complaining that I was tired, had low energy, felt like I was just working and sleeping. Now, with a better understanding of what I wanted from life, how I could choose to spend my time, a clearer mind to spot opportunities and investing in my own personal growth, do I have the balanced life I craved for so long.
About the author
Kim Sprague is a Coach and founder of Flamingo Life – helping busy working women to find greater balance so that they thrive as entrepreneurs, leaders, partners and mothers. With over a decade’s experience as a corporate communications leader, running her own business and as a mother, Kim knows first-hand that balance isn’t something you have. It’s something you create.
Kim holds space for women in person and via Zoom video call – away from their hectic work, social and family lives – and coaches them to create their own balanced life and business.