You probably know that a main focus of this blog is balance. Even if you’re new to the site, the title says it: Get Mom Balanced. Balance, and more specifically mom balance, is an important topic to me because it’s one that I work on (and struggle with) on a regular basis. Balance is something that I know is important to moms because as I was preparing to launch this site, I heard so many moms bring up balance, and without my prompting.
These moms talked about balance in so many different contexts: family life, work, parenting, food, and exercise, as well as trying to create and maintain an overall sense of balance. It’s kind of like if you buy something new: a shirt, a pair of shoes, a new car: you start to notice who else has those items. It seems like they’re everywhere. Chances are, all of that was there before, but now you’re primed to notice. As I noticed more and more how many moms were talking about balance, I knew that I was on the right track with this site.
Why is mom balance so hard?
While there are many different answers to this question, none better than the other, here’s a few reasons why I find balance hard:
- I am with my kids a lot. I am very lucky to be able to spend so much time with them, and we are fortunate that we’ve been able to create our lives so that we don’t have to utilize child care much. When we do have someone watch our kids, we’re extremely fortunate that we have our family to support us for most of our needs. However, as all moms know, it’s hard to get things done (well) when you’re with your kids. As of this moment, I have 4 different baskets of clean laundry sitting wrinkled in the garage. There’s a load in the washing machine and another in the dryer. I can’t seem to get to the folding stage with my kids around. And chances are, at any point someone reads this post, this is the state of laundry at our house. (Laundry update: Check out this post!)
- Life is just busy. Do you ever stop and think what you used to do with all of your time before kids? I mean, I thought I was busy then and it certainly didn’t feel like I sat around a lot, but I must have! With kids there are activities, school, playdates, doctor’s appointments, (and more!) plus the normal household tasks like groceries, buying gifts for birthday parties, and usual errands. Plus, you probably have to bring kids with you when you do these things, so it takes that much longer to accomplish anything! I wonder if anyone has added up the time it takes to pack up, get out of the door, load your kids into the car (and unload because one has to go to the bathroom), and then add in the unload time as well…for multiple trips a day! No wonder we feel like there isn’t enough time. And I only have two kids, so I can’t imagine how much busier life gets with more.
- I’m a bit of an over-achiever. I tend to take on a lot of tasks. I do like to be busy (within reason) and I like the work that I do. I would not do well at my mom-life were it not for my work-life, but I set high expectations for myself in both areas. This can make finding balance between the two hard. I often have a lot of tasks that I need to accomplish. Did I agree to most of them? Yes, but that doesn’t make it easier to actually get them all done!
But you know what? It is tough. You’re not alone, and finding balance isn’t easy. What can you do?
Here are 3 strategies I find helpful to create more balance:
- Get my son involved around the house. I may be late to the party on this idea, but my kid can actually help out. He made the mess? He can help clean it. I don’t always have to be the one to bring his dishes to the counter. He knows that his last name is Robinson, so it’s time for him to understand that he’s a member of this team and there are responsibilities that come with that.
- I’m working on decluttering. This is much slower of a process than I would like, but I am hoping to clear out some of the unnecessary “stuff” that we have around the house. Things like toys, clothes, books, dishes. We don’t need all of it. We can get rid of some of it, making it easier to stay organized, but also we can spend less time putting stuff away. And a bonus is that we can donate these items to people who can benefit from them.
- Getting outside at the end of each day. Since I mostly work from home, and I still have a little guy who spends a lot of time napping, we can spend most of the day inside without meaning to. I’ve found that when we get out at the end of the day, it forces me to put work aside, I connect with my kids differently, and we usually bump into friends or neighbors so it’s a great way to socialize. As a work-from-home mom whose hubby works a lot, adult interaction is important and I’m not going to get it by staying inside. Getting out and about helps me (and my kids) to feel more balanced.
Even though finding balance is an ongoing process for moms, and can be a tough one, we should still try to create it. If you’re struggling to find balance, this post might also be a good one to check out to get you started with creating more balance.
Let us know: how do you work work to create more balance in your life?
These are great tips. Getting balance I’m my life as a mom is something I always strive for but seem to never achieve.
Thanks, Jennifer!! I totally feel you on striving for it but never achieving it!! But I think we have to remember that sometimes we achieve it even if it’s short pockets of time- like a few hours in a day were balanced well, but the rest wasn’t? We have to give ourselves a pat on the back for the balanced part and keep working on the rest!
I wrote a similar post about little ways to give back to yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in your role of mothering and forget about yourself. There are lots of little simple ways to remember yourself. Then, there are things that require a larger commitment of time or money.
A couple weeks ago, I went to see bad moms at the theater with another mom friend. What a GREAT time I had!
Thanks for checking in- I’ve seen a few similar posts lately…it’s definitely a normal mom struggle! I just saw Bad Moms on Friday with friends and OMG- a great time for sure!! (We may or may not have continued the party after the movie!)
This is something that I also struggle with on a daily basis. My husband and I both work full time; so both our kids are in full day care. I wish I was able to spend more time with them, but now it’s all about making the time we do have, quality time. I love your tip on getting the kids involved, and that is something I am slowly working on with my daughter. We are also in a constant state of de-cluttering (discovering a new hidden toy stash every day). It’s good to know that their are other moms who also (sometimes) struggle to achieve balance.
Hi Leri! Thanks for checking in- you are DEFINITELY not alone in the struggle! And with 2 full-time working parents, that presents its own challenges! I completely agree about making the most of the time you do have with them and getting them involved. I like to ask my son: “Are you on Team Robinson?” and he says yes (thank goodness!) and then I remind him what being a member of this team means. He’s 4, so he doesn’t always follow through, but it’s good practice for both of us!! Good luck with the decluttering- it’s one of those projects I want to do (even a small amount) but it always gets moved to the bottom of the list. Check back next week- I have another post coming out on balance that may give you another idea or two 🙂
This was a great post. So informative. 🙂
🙂 Thanks so much, Amy. Glad you liked it!