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When The Balance Doesn’t Work

When The Balance Doesn’t Work

Life is a balancing act, and mostly I feel I do Ok to keep all my life in balance. The Builder and I work together to ensure we have enough time and energy for work, the kids, each other and ourselves. Occasionally this grinds to a halt as one project or another takes over the balancing act for a while. I shared how I balance my day in this post on The Plumbette.

When The Balance Doesn’t Work

Last weekend was like this. We had a 3 day Oztag (Football) carnival on the Sunshine Coast for the kids. This meant 2 days off work, and personal time to focus just on the children and their needs. Something we are comfortable to do, because we do work so hard and at time we feel like they are not getting the quality of down time with us that they deserve.

The first morning of the carnival went well, although organising to take our own fresh food, getting to where we had to be on time, in uniform and with plenty of sunscreen, sent our stress levels through the roof! Little people are much harder to organise than grown people with a financial interest in where they need to be and when.

Two of the four kids had played their first games, with lots of smiles and fun, when we found ourselves rushing from one field to the other to catch child number three. Not long after we arrived, Master 13 was having a great time with his team mates and managed to find a hole in the opposition to run through and score a try. Everyone was so excited, yipping and yahooing, until Master 13 didn’t get up. As a parent, your child not getting up is pretty rough.

Optimistically, we thought he had winded himself as he landed on the ball, something we saw happen many times already during the games. But when the referee signalled for the manager and coach to come to his side, we began to worry. They managed to pick Master 13 up and walk him to the sideline, where from our spectators’ position we could see he was holding his arm.

Now we are no strangers to Master 13 breaking bones. Since the first day of prep when he received a greenstick fracture falling off the monkey bars, to tripping over his teachers feet and breaking his arm requiring surgery, to breaking his collar bone 18 months ago in a tackle at football training, Master 13 has had his fair share of breaks! I’ve learnt how to remain calm and help him through the process.

The ambulance was summoned, and a trip to hospital followed. This is where the balancing act fell apart. With three remaining children at the football carnival, only one of us was able to leave the event. Working so closely together on so many different levels, The Builder and I can communicate a lot without saying a word. With a look we knew it was me to go to hospital and the Builder to stay with the kids and do his best to get fairly around to each of the games.

when the balance doesn't work

A long wait at hospital meant we missed the rest of the first day. Master 13 was brave enough to battle through watching a few hours of his siblings and team mates on the Saturday, before the pain became too much and I took him home. Again the balancing act fell apart.

In the construction industry the balancing act often falls apart. A problem will be found on the job, or a tradesperson will let you down, no matter the issue, it does mean that the juggle between jobs, home time and family becomes a messy and complicated one. This is the single biggest skill that we have developed since commencing work together, the ability to juggle the balancing act.

As a client this may mean your builder or tradespeople are not able to be on a job at the agreed time, or that the finish of a job is delayed, it could be that materials are held up or that there is a long term issue with supply and a new product is required to complete your job. In all jobs there will be periods of intensity and others where another job needs to take priority. This never means that your job is no long part of the balancing act, only that the juggle is focused on another ball, but will return to yours very soon.

As a business owner it requires the ability to think on your feet, to make quick but well thought out decisions. It requires excellent communication skills to ensure that everyone in the balancing act knows what is happening and why the reason for the changes. It is of the upmost importance that the client understands the need for change/delay/shift in focus, and is comfortable in the knowledge that the balance will swiftly return and their job will go on with enthusiasm!

Have you had an emergency that throws your balancing act? How do you cope? Ever broken a bone?

Nicole xxx

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

 

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33 Comments

  1. Oh the poor kid, to miss the day on top of the pain! My husband and I are a team as well- any emergency and we know straight away who is doing what. Even when I was in labour, he knew the point at which he had to bundle me into the car to go!

    1. Isn’t it amazing how much you can communicate with your partner without saying anything? xx

  2. What a day! The balancing act can fall apart anytime can’t it? It doesn’t help our schedule, but I’m thankful that when you run you’re own business you can be a little flexible to meet the needs of your family. Hope the break heals quickly and he’s not in too much pain. x

    1. This is my favourite part of being a business owner, the opportunity to be flexible at a time like this. It may mean getting up at 4am to get the work done, but at least I can be there for him when he needs me. xx

  3. Well said and not a truer word spoken. I actually think these times bring out the best in our relationship, it’s a great reminder of the team that we are and that we can get through anything together.

    As tough as these times are they come with great reminders of what we love in each other and why we are together especially when day to day life can cloud that feeling.

    Glad your boy is on the mend and your balance is starting to come back

    1. So true Jenny! There is always a positive to be found, even in the most difficult of situations and this is a massive positive from the weekend. Our relationship has most definitely been strengthened by this, and it has provided an opportunity to reflect over how well we fit together. xx

  4. Teamwork is everything – on and off the field! How disappointing and upsetting for everyone involved but and I hope everyone is recovering well, you included! Life is one big juggle sometimes, isn’t it?

    1. You want to know his biggest disappointment, after feeling like he had let his team down?……….he hasn’t had surgery yet, so no ice-cream and jelly 🙂
      He’s such a funny boy and as he doesn’t get to eat this stuff normally he was looking forward to his after surgery meal. lol xx

  5. Oh dear – this brings back plenty of memories Nicole. So sorry for your boy – ouchy! I also know how easily balance can be disturbed. I hope he heals up quickly! xo

    1. Thank you Min. xxx

  6. Hope the arm is healing. So right on the balancing act between customers – hard for them to appreciate/understand that there are a number of balls in the air and that we don’t control all of them all the time. So many logistics to manage in the building game.

    1. It’s really refreshing to have other people in the trade understand where you are coming from. Thank you xx

  7. Great post. As a single parent with two kids, the balance is to make sure both kids get the time they need, particularly as one is very bright and the other one has delays and requires special sessions here and there. I don’t want to make my bright one feel left out, or bored, but I also need to focus a lot of attention on my other darling at the moment. It means that me-time gets lost a lot, and my business also. Still, my kids are more important. Thank goodness for extended family support!

    1. I totally get this Emily. Because we are a step family, finding the balance in how we share our time can be really tricky. It is important for us to spend time one on one with our own kids but also with our step kids. And I agree, the kids are the most important thing of all xx

  8. Oh no!!!!! Some kids just have all the ‘luck’ don’t they!!! I haven’t broken a bone myself, but when I was teaching, I would always have to be on ‘first aid duty’ and saw far too many (I still can’t get the look of a very badly broken wrist out of my mind!!!!). Balancing is just so darn hard isnt it.

    1. Oh that would be difficult. Kids can be so accident prone! xx

  9. Oh no that’s such a shame. Touch wood I’ve not broken a bone and so far the girls have been fine too. GT played rugby in his younger days so was regularly broken and now has the ears to show it too! It’s hard to balance everything isn’t it, and one thing can throw it all out. I hope his is on the mend and not in too much pain now. x

    1. Ha ha ha! I keep telling the boys about what their ears are going to look like years after playing rugby, but they just don’t believe me 🙂 xx

  10. There sure are many balancing acts in life, that’s for sure. And I think sometimes, as parents and business owners, we surprise ourselves at how well we are able to handle it at the last moment. Wishing Master 13 a speedy recovery and hopefully all heals ok. x

    1. Thank you Eva, and you are right, we are able to handle so much more than we might imagine. xx

  11. Oh no! Sounds like he was a trooper though. Hard on mum too xx

    1. Plenty of practice now 🙂 He really is a trooper xx

  12. My sis and her family were at the Oz Tag Carnival too, only one of her 4 kids was competing though. Sadly they lost every game! She said it was stinking hot so she and her hubby took it in turns to be at the carnival which sounded like a very wise idea.

    I don’t mind when tradies have things happen, I just wish they’d ring and let us (the client) know, because we have lives too!!!! The ones I’ve encountered are very poor at communicating or keeping to schedules, which than plays havoc with mine! But I’m sure you guys aren’t like that 🙂

    Really liked the way you wove this post together and brought it back to your trade focus!

    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

    1. I totally agree Janet, a simple phone call is all it takes, we call it mutual respect. It took us a few years to get rid of our tradies who wouldn’t call if something came up, but we are there now.
      Sorry to hear your sisters child’s team lost every game, did they still have fun? It was a very well run carnival, though you are right, it was horribly hot and humid.
      Thank you for dropping by xx

  13. Oh no – the poor thing! Touch wood we’ve never had any medical emergencies to deal with, but it sounds like you guys have it really down pat. It’s always good to know that you have someone who’s got your back.

    1. Ha ha ha, we’ve had HEAPS of practice! If it’s not The Builder its Master 13, the hospital staff all know me by name 🙂

  14. My son got his cast off today after fracturing his wrist at a mate’s house a month ago. With kids, there is always something, and it usually comes at the worst time. You kind of learn to roll with the punches don’t you?

    1. Absolutely! I’m pleased he is my second born and I’ve had time to adjust to his full on nature, otherwise I’m not sure I would cope real well with break after break. x

  15. When life is so full it doesn’t take much to throw that balancing act out of whack. I hope your little guy is on the mend and you told that doctor where to go. Big hugs.

    1. Thank you Renee, I’ve dropped the Dr, and we find out Friday if surgery is still required. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome xx

  16. I worked in a construction office for a year when I worked in cultural heritage management. So I can totally relate to changes upon changes upon changes upon changes. Upon changes. It was the most intense year. I loved and hated it pretty equally.

    1. It can be super difficult, however I do like this kind of stress. I am not a fan of the stress I feel when the kids are hurt or sick, but the stress involved with changes in business I don’t mind. 🙂

  17. It sounds like you and Builder make a great team Nicole! It does make the whole balancing act easier to manage when you can offload some of the stresses. I thrive on pressure, however if sudden change occurs, I fall to pieces!
    I hope your boy has a speedy recovery.

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