I won the BYPY award last year and one of my ‘themes’ was Work Life Balance. I came at it from the point of view of that is why I love living in Brum. Birmingham is big enough for you to have good career prospects and an exciting working life. On the other hand it is small enough so that you don’t have to live too far away from the action (the train from my house takes just five minutes into Moor Street). There is lots to do here: good theatres and arts, restaurants and music venues but also good schools and neighbourhoods for bringing up your kids.I still believe all of that. But am I doing what I need to do to get a good work life balance?I now work from home – which works well. I don’t commute home at 5pm – so I cook the dinner instead. I get to raid the fridge too much – but I also get to potter round the house at lunchtime if the work is getting all too much for me (instead of finding myself in town wondering around the shops without a purpose). But do I take lunch breaks ever? Rarely. But more now I work from home… Anyway – the point of all this is that I’m not sure I really do have a balance? What is a balance anyway – when the work you do is your passion. Absolutely – my children, family and friends are more important than any work or mission I might find myself on. But my work and music are an important part of who I am so without them my family and friends wouldn’t get the whole of me… Therein lies the problem. When I worked more recently in an organisation where people (most often) worked to earn a living and quite often hated their day job – work life balance was very clear. The would have kids and go part time, or just be sure to work only the hours they were paid for and go home and forget work until the next day. I just don’t have that division in my life. If I go to a concert – I’m checking out the production or looking out for new music I might want to programme. My hubby and I went out to see Basement Jaxx recently and I spent a good part of the evening getting cross at the awful customer service (not because we were affected – but because it was a venue I want to do work in!). If I have family or friends to stay from outside the city. I turn into the tourist board and start taking them to places in Brum that I think they’ll be surprised an delighted by. Of course – I’m enjoying this – but I do end up relating it to work. On the other side – I became a school governor 8 years ago for work reasons to find out how governing bodies work – as I worked with so many schools and I wanted to understand the system better. Eight years on my eldest daughter has now started at that school as it is an amazing place and so some work based research has turned out to benefit my family. Not for the last time I’m sure… So maybe there is a balance – not necessarily all in time and working hours – but maybe something much deeper. I work because it seems that is who I am. In turn the work I do and the learning and pleasure it gives me makes me a better mum (fingers crossed) and means I can bring so much more back to my life at home.The key thing that I try to keep check on is – how much we communicate at home. Am I there when they need me? Do I realise if they need me? Most of the time I think I have a handle on this stuff and I always care about it more than my latest work worries.I guess we will see in time! Happy Mother’s Day folks!