Finding some balance...

     For those of you who know me well, I'm sure you'll find this title comical.  True, balance and coordination might not be words that leap to mind when you think of me.  I have been known since childhood to trip over unseen objects or even my own feet.  While out for what ironically was one of my best runs in months almost two years ago, I maimed myself something fierce.  While anyone else who caught a cracked piece of sidewalk in the almost dark would have sprained their ankle, I gave myself an injury worthy of a professional football player. Seriously. Five months on crutches and 7 months of thrice weekly P.T. Clearly, I don't do things half-way.
   I mention this not for sympathy or because it makes me special but solely to give you a good mental image and background to my history of clumsiness. My dad blames it on my mom. My aunts insist all the females on his side are equally challenged when it comes to matters of balance. It seems like I've been struggling to find balance forever.  Whether we're men or women, it's our kids or relationships, our jobs, our friends or our families, I don't know anyone who's not trying to create or maintain a healthy balance in their lives.
    I thought once I became a stay-at-home mom, I would feel more balanced without the pressures of my job and bringing work home, but somehow that's not the case. While it's nice not to have those pressures, sometimes I feel so immersed in my role that I'm lacking balance outside of it. Perhaps, regardless of the job we do, if we enjoy it, do it well, or strive to at least, we always run the risk of being consumed by it. While motherhood is  the most rewarding job I have, some days it is depleting. Some days, I need something more.  Sometimes I feel guilty saying that.  Last week, after my first blog entry, my cousin Christa left a comment that reminded me not to feel guilty.  She was so right on the money.
     "Make sure to make time for yourself no matter how small it may be. When the "core" (you, yourself) of the family is intact, everything else just seems to fall into place. Take it from someone who's experienced this first-hand!"

     This is easier said than done for so many of us, but so important. I know I'm just starting to find it, five years after having my first child.  I'm learning that whether it's going to a yoga class or getting up an hour before my kids just to have some quiet time to myself, it helps a bit, yet I still struggle with the guilt of what might suffer when I'm taking that time. I know plenty of people who don't have children who have the same issues with balancing their work and social/home lives, too.

    What do you do to balance the demands of your life? What advice can anyone offer to those of us who find it difficult to manage the various roles we have to play simultaneously, while trying to satisfy our own needs and interests?


  1. This is something I truly struggle with. I wonder sometimes if it's just me or if I'm just not hearing other mothers admit to this. So thank you! There are some minimal things I do for myself that pay off in a big way. 1-every other week I get a manicure. 2-once a month I go out with my co-workers. 3- After I drop Gabriella off at the sitter, I try every morning to allow some time in the schedule to go to 7 11 for a large blueberry coffee. This isn't much, but I enjoy it, and it's just another little thing for me to have. 4- I DVR all the shows I like so that I don't ever feel like I'm missing something I love to watch. When a moment creeps up on me, I can just hit play. 5- My daughter spends a night once in a while at my mother's. Now this one ALWAYS makes me feel guilty, despite the fact that she loves it there and has a blast with grandma, grandpa and her uncle. But it has given me time to think, watch the DVRed stuff from #4 and has helped my marriage.
    Although these 5 things may seem like I'm doing a great job adjusting, I somehow still feel like I'm lost in there somewhere. I remember my hobbies included: amateur astronomy, riding horses and scrap booking. All of which take a lot of time, a lot of money and equipment that is somewhere buried in my garage. Someday, I will find it all again. In the meantime I watch my daughter grow with delight, and although I sometimes feel estranged from myself, I see the missing pieces starring up at me in the form of an adorable toddler's big blue eyes.

  2. Cath,

    This is beautiful and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing it. You really have a way with words. It really is the simple things that go a long way. When I get the rare chance to get to Starbucks alone, I feel quietly giddy. I love what you said about finding the missing pieces in Gabriella's eyes, because as hard as it can be some days, it's so worthwhile and it seems to go so quickly. Thank you!