The Great Balancing Act

05-12-2014 8:00 AM

Spending time with my family is one of my favorite things. It reminds me of just how important it is to have a balanced “wheel of life”.  I truly dislike the phrase “work/life balance” because it seems to imply that your work is not part of your life and that you can’t bring your life to your work. Mary Kay Ash understood the importance of balanced priorities. More than 50 years ago, Mary Kay was juggling a successful career while raising her children and I’m pretty sure 50 years from now, moms (and dads) will still be challenged with how to strike the right balance.

Here are some of the things that have helped me find a better balance, and I hope they work for you, too!

- Don’t give into the fear of missing out—There are so many school volunteer opportunities that a parent could spend hours at each week, and I used to be guilt ridden when I had to pass on a particular request. A wise friend gave me some great advice. Ask your boys how they would like to see you involved in their school. I got an eye-opening lesson on what really mattered to my boys, and learned that just a few small time commitments each month had a big impact.  For my older son, it was helping with the annual class Christmas parties.  For my younger son, it was the two of us selling supplies before school once a month to raise money for the PTA. Once a year, ask your children how they would like to see you involved in their school and extracurricular activities. 

- Done is better than perfect— I love the feel of crisp cotton sheets. I would spend hours each week ironing them. Now, I’m thrilled if my boys can just pull the comforter over their poly-cotton wrinkle resistant sheets and make it out the door in time for school. To this day, I still miss the feeling of those freshly pressed sheets but understand that my time is much better spent in other areas of my personal and professional life. 

- Tech free time— Remember the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Today, it seems more like “Apple all day keeps your family away.” Thanks to technology our world is so much more advanced and efficient, but setting boundaries for reading and responding to email outside of the office is imperative. Find a tech free zone with your family and stick to it! No phones and iPads at the dinner table and never in the bedroom are rules in our house.

What helps you maintain a healthy balance? 

Deb with her husband, Robb and two sons Will and Harrison.


Today’s blog post is from Mary Kay Chief Financial Officer Deborah Gibbins. Deborah oversees the strategic planning and financial growth of Mary Kay across the globe and is an active community volunteer, wife and mother of two sons.