Things have been NUTS around here lately…good nuts, but nuts nonetheless.
My kids have birthday parties to attend every weekend (We refer to October-November as the birthday gauntlet…9 months after Valentines Day…go figure ;-)); my at home business is BOOMING; I’m drowning in laundry, housekeeping, blogging, Christmas shopping, church, cooking (ok, so we’ve been microwaving…a lot); I’m struggling to make time for family; and looming over me are the tasks of maintaining professional certifications and working on new ones. Whew! I’ll admit, I’ve felt the need to spike my hot coco on more than one occasion.
They say that we must find balance in life, but how in the heck am I supposed to balance all that is required of me and what does balance really look like?
“The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us,…The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being’s difficulty in coming to viruous balance with himself. ”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Well, here’s my two cents on the matter…
Balance in life (and especially in motherhood) should look like a juggling act.
Juggling is a physical skill involving the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment or sport [or survival in our case]…Juggling can be the manipulation of one object or many objects at the same time, using one or many hands…-Wikipedia
This mom seems to have a great grasp on the concept 😉
We must juggle family, relationships, obligations, and fun. At no point will we be able to devote equal attention across the board. Rather, at any given moment, one aspect will take priority while the others get shuffled around beneath our line of site (on autopilot). Sometimes, we may have 2 or 3 things balancing in mid air, but they won’t stay there and our only hope is that we don’t “drop the ball” and allow everything to come crashing down.
“What goes up must come down.” -Isaac Newton
These tips for performance jugglers can easily apply to “parenthood jugglers”:
- Relax, and keep practicing. Take time for yourself, read a book, meet with other moms, learn something new.
- Take your time. Don’t throw the second ball until the first one peaks. Try not to take on too much at once. Limit kids activities so you still have time to connect as a family.
- Let the balls come to you. Don’t reach up to catch them. I LOVE this one! Sometimes we are so worried about the next thing on our to-do list that we lose site of the task at hand…guilty *hand raised*
- Watch the point where the balls peak. This is the moment when the majority of your attention will be focused on a single task (it’s ok, I promise). This focus may last 5 minutes or a few days, but it’s worth it and will help you feel a sense of accomplishment. This is also where most mamas, including myself, feel the most off balance…and guilt.
- Concentrate on keeping the throws close to you. Prioritize your family and keep them close.
- Try starting with the other hand for a while. If you have a partner, ask them to take over a few tasks when you get overwhelmed.
- Juggling is 70% mental and 30% physical. Plan, Strategize, Organize, Implement.
- Pretend as if your hands don’t exist. Juggling becomes instinctive as you become skilled at the art form. Follow your instincts. Don’t over think and follow your heart.
Piece of cake, right 😉
So what happens when we lose our rhythm and must start over?
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dalí
Simply stop, pick up the pieces, dust ourselves off, and start again. We all make mistakes. What’s important is that we recognize our short comings and learn from them. A child that watches a parent own up to their own flaws will learn to accept themselves and others.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ― L.M. Montgomery
“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
What tasks are you currently juggling?