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?