I feel under a lot of pressure right now.

To accomplish more in the same amount of time at my job-job.

To clock more billable hours as a freelancer.

To volunteer in class on a weekly basis in my children’s school.

To put aside as much money as I can a month, and not let impatience for an immediate improvement in my living environment lead me astray, i.e., to IKEA for a quick fix, when what I really want is money in the bank for a down payment, not a new accent pillow to temporarily brighten up the living room.

To continue to practice my newfound financial discipline, but to not be too hard on myself when I make mistakes. This week, I paid in cash for a new bed, not realizing that I had broken one of my newly adopted rules: keep the exorbitant $3500 minimum required by TD Canada Trust to avoid incurring bank fees. For a few short harried hours last Sunday, my account fell $50 below the critical amount. Will I have to pay the fees? I’ve contacted the bank, but it remains to be seen just how hard of a line they are going to draw.

Basically, in the last year, I became more ambitious. I realized that I needed to focus more on my career and learn how to manage my money. But balancing these goals with parenting is occasionally exhausting.

I have been fantasizing about meeting with a career coach, someone who could help me sort out my priorities, so that I can keep them clearly in mind, when things get hectic, as when one child needs a lift to hockey; the other, to figure skating; and, there’s that potential client, waiting for a quote.

You know how they say that you don’t really learn things until you’ve experienced them for yourself. I’ve read a million articles on how how hard it is for mothers of school-aged children to achieve a work-life balance. But it’s as though I’m only just discovering how true this is by striving for it myself. All words of wisdom, welcome.