Thursday, April 27, 2017

What is this work / life balance that you speak of...?

I'm not a working mom. And by that I mean I don't work outside the home or have a full time job outside of raising my monkeys. But to those mamas who do... WOW. You. Are. Amazing.

People seem to always be talking about how busy they are, even the stay-at-home moms. Play dates, meal prepping, workouts, date nights (when we're lucky), mom groups, church and church events, time for self care, kids' sports and extra curriculars, etc, etc, etc. It's so hard not to look at the mom bloggers on Instagram and Pinterest and think, "Whoa. My life sure has a lot more sticky than that lady's life. And more day-old makeup. And some clothes with kids' mystery stains on them (marker? blueberry? who knows anymore)." 




But we can't all do it all. Not everything can be 100% all of the time. I might need to sacrifice a nap or a clean floor to get a workout in. I might need to pass on a social function to watch a movie with the hubs. I might need to push the kids' bath another night because I need to bathe myself (with smelly candles, podcasts, and bath salts). And that's just fine. Life doesn't always look like Pinterest. You just need to pick, at each hour of the day, "what is my #1 priority right now?"

I've found myself checking in as the clock tick-tick-ticks along (tick-tick-tick? My clock is weird. What clocks say 'tick-tick?'). I write my to-do list for the day every morning on my white board. Yes, I do need to actually write "shower" and "make bed" on there. The more specific you can get, the better. But as the day goes on, sometimes the order of importance changes.

For example: I started today thinking I need to 1. find time to work on the blog 2. get the defrosted meat cooked, and 3. end up with a mostly tidy house. When the girls were occupied, I snuck away to make the bed, prep a sausage egg bake (thank you Mom for the idea to pre-cook the sausage before freezing). When I had a REALLY quiet moment (aka, nap time), I had time to sit at the computer and chip away at that list.

But, in the afternoon, as much as I had made some progress, I was dying for some fun time with the kiddos. The dishwasher, broom, and phone calls were moved to the bottom of the list so we could get some belly laughs in. And it was so worth it.


I'm still pooped at the end of the day. I still want to plant myself on the couch downstairs with some cheesy TV (Felicity reruns, anyone?) and not make my brain work. And guess what? That's totally fine. My kitchen isn't totally spotless, I still haven't showered, and I still have a massive pile of clothes in my room. But... it's more important to take care of me. There's always going to be one more thing to do, one more thing to clean, and one more thing to cross off the list. But there won't always be nights I can sit down on the couch with my computer and a glass of wine and watch my baby boy sleep.

And also I need to feed him. Currently moving that to priority 1. 

I just want to wrap up with this little diddy: Balance isn't something that's going to happen overnight. Our lives are constantly going to be shifting and changing, so we might not ever get to a place where things seem finally balanced. But there can be joy in the process, by just taking each season day by day, even hour by hour. We're all going to get there, but you will be happiest if you give yourself the freedom to move things around a bit to get you all through the day. You do you.

And here's a smiling baby. :)


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