As a Mother of 2 young boys [2.5 & 8 months], life is hectic & always on the move. Add on working from home, maintaining a tidy house, taking care of 2 dogs, maintaining SOME social life, showing love to my husband, being a blogger, trying to find time for me AND staying hydrated, sometimes it’s hard to breathe. I HEAR YOU. I get asked how I manage to balance everything & to be honest, I don’t. Balance isn’t a thing.
The theory of ‘balance’ is a myth that we need to stop telling people. Something always has to give. Always. Personally, I think it’s a matter of properly prioritizing rather than juggling everything at once. Starting at the core the issue…
RECOGNIZE YOUR TRUTH
I can honestly & shamelessly state that I am a lazy mom. I’m talking snacks for dinner, I could never homeschool, will do school drop off in the clothes I slept in LAZY. Probably close to the ‘cool Aunt’ status only I birthed the babies. What I’m getting to is knowing I would never be the Mom with extensively planned photos opportunities, won’t find us in expensive clothes because that upkeep is a no, & will look for the max amount of fun with minimum amount of things. The point is I don’t hold myself to a standard that I know I won’t meet.
Social Media has become a breeding ground of either inspiration or impossible standards. Whether it be product placement or a ‘bright & airy’ filter, the little squares we’re checking provide us with pressure & feedback on how we live our lives. For the longest time, I compared myself TO THE T to others & it was beyond exhausting. Perfectly clean house & extensive gorgeous meals while I double tapped on my Goodwill couch eating frozen pizza [true story] wishing that was my house. Once I realized that wasn’t realistic [because I also have 2 dogs & too many other things to do], I embraced my truth & hit the ground running.
WRITE IT DOWN
Bullet journalling has been my bread & butter for 3 years now. It’s not extremely extensive like the ones you search on Pinterest but it gets the job done. I write in it throughout the day of things that need to get done, notes or to schedule future appointments. Call me old fashion but I enjoy the actual checking off with pen & paper rather than an electronic app. This process helps me stay organized & also allows me to keep some track of my thought process with things. It also allows me to prioritize & really rank my necessities over my wants.
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Like I said before, something will have to give. This is why prioritizing is so important. Personally, I need to see everything listed before I start to tackle. Some days, you could have the most productive day & get everything checked off on your list. Others, you’ll be lucky to get one thing done. & THAT’S OK. You don’t have to be Super Woman everyday & tackle all the things. Stressing about not getting things done doesn’t help you in any productive way & only makes you dread the item for next time. Plus, if you prioritized properly, you’d have at least achieved the one that was the most important.
Like the cliche goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’ But let’s really address that moral. I’m not saying to spoil yourself with a bubble bath or get a massage or go for the surface level of self-care. I’m talking about addressing the things that made you YOU before you became a Mother with these new responsibilities. Did you love to paint? Enjoy an afternoon run? How about a night of trap music & shitty tv? Whatever that thing is, bring it back every now & then. Nurture that version of you because she’s still here, just tucked away a little. Communicate with your partner how vital this thing is & how they could help you achieve this every now & then. I’m not saying get hammered every weekend but dedicate a time frame or a space for your thing & nurture it.
These aren’t magic notes that will help you get ‘balance’ but they are suggestions that help me achieve some notion of functional chaos that is my life. Because of the person I am, being busy is how I work best. Under stress, list a mile long in the 11th hour – that’s when I shine the brightest & I know it [probably also why I schedule everything to a T if I can].
I hope someone finds some kind of relation in this idea that the ‘balance’ people are looking for doesn’t exist. Everyday carries a different weight with different priorities & possibilities so to say one is balanced & another isn’t doesn’t really work. I’m not gonna lie when I say some days honestly & truly are HARD. But my kids are so damn happy so I don’t have much to complain about. The sleep will catchup [eventually] & laundry is always being washed in the background. Today’s ‘balance’ consists of Lion King for the 1000th time, not showering in a couple days peanut butter crackers for lunch. Who knows what tomorrow will look like but we’re doing just fine today 🙂