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.
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?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT