Often in the middle of a particularly hectic week, I’ll take a moment to think about what my life would be like if I didn’t have a full time career. I fantasize about a weekday that isn’t filled with waking up early in an attempt to make it to work without hitting that sheet of red lights we call 405, juggling meetings and project deadlines and those “hey do you have a minute?” requests. I fantasize about not rushing to make it to Pre-K and daycare pick up at a reasonable hour only to then dash home, possibly start dinner, get in quality time with the kids and then get motivated to fit in a workout.
In those “grass is greener” moments, I tell myself that I would have a balanced life if I didn’t have this career to worry about. And then I come back down to reality. I know very well if I didn’t have a career that I would be just as busy with things like PTA planning and ensuring my kids were fed, happy, healthy and learning…day in and day out!
Here is something I have learned about balance… as a mom, you have to be open to imbalance sometimes. There are weeks where working out takes a back seat because my kids have busier than normal schedules. On a particularly busy week at work, I will log on after the kids go to bed, which then eliminates even the hope of a few minutes to myself to decompress. I am even embarrassed to admit that my husband and I will go weeks and weeks without anything resembling a date night because life gets too busy and I think I get a little too lazy to want to put effort into going out. It sounds simple- you get a sitter, you put on normal clothes, you go eat food. But we all know that there are times when, for whatever reason, that sounds exhausting.
Have you sat down recently and thought, “wow my life is so balanced and everything is in order!” If the answer is yes, please call me! I never feel like my life is in order. Even sitting here right now I am staring at our shoe “organizer” which is currently home to probably three pairs of shoes that fit nobody in our house. But my balance tonight is not going to be focused on shoe organization. Instead, I am making other things a priority.
God, my marriage, my kids and my health are some of my top priorities in life. I don’t think these are unusual. And, for that reason, here are some things I do to ensure I somehow keep those as a priority even on those weeks where I feel like I cannot balance even the small things in life.
- God~ We attend church on Sundays. But you know what? I don’t feel guilty if we happen to miss a week. God sees you the other days of the week too, you know. Have you ever prayed out loud in your car driving to work or to pick the kids up? Try it. It can help you feel more connected and like you are finding balance in this part of your life!
- Marriage- Well, I have admitted that date nights don’t always happen. But what can happen is my husband and I sitting on the couch together watching a re-run of The Office. It might not be a date night, but it’s quality time together where we can both just chill.
- Kids- I am big on quality versus quantity. I love picking my kids up from Pre-K/daycare and taking them somewhere fun. It doesn’t have to cost anything. My son loves to go to the library or the park. Free and free.
- My health- I am a big advocate for health and fitness. There is balance here too, which is why I also talk about my love of food. I try to balance this priority. Even if that means a lunch workout, or a quick stroller run with one of the kids. It’s not always easy, but it’s important.
Sometimes I feel like I am failing at everything and I cannot keep balanced. It’s those times where I need to step back and listen to my own words and be open to imbalance while knowing it doesn’t mean I’m a failure.
What are the things in your life that are the toughest to keep balanced?