Ahh, the “B word” Balance. You’re either trying to find balance as a mother or a unicorn mom who have it all together. Balance is tough, tough, tough, tough for most of us moms. It’s at the pinnacle of our mom goals list and we’re all looking forward to the day we finally figure out how to have it.
I remember the first time that I felt like I was balancing motherhood, career, and marriage like a boss. My daughter was 22 months old and I was walking to my car after dropping her off to school, feeling really good about all aspects of my life. At that moment, I was seriously at mom goals. Since then I’ve felt like that way many times and I’ve also felt like I had no balance at all many, many times. It was either me feeling guilty for working too much and not spending enough quality time with my family or feeling overwhelmed because I took on too much.
The good thing is that I journal and over the weekend, I was reading through some old journals and discovered a few common threads that tie all the good days together when I felt balanced and on top of the world. I was trying to discover what works for myself because I want to be better but I also wanted to share these ideas with you because I’m sure they would help you in your motherhood journey. So here are 5 ways to find balance as a mother:
1. Stop Multitasking
I’m ashamed to admit the many times that I burned dinner by working and cooking at the same time. I’ve tried talking to my kids and sending a business email at the same time, to look back later and see it was filled with typos. I really thought that multitasking was the major key to get it all done but it’s actually the worst way, for me. There are very, very few things that I can multitask and they both need to require little to no brain power. These days when I am with my family, I like to stay in the moment and put everything else off.
Give Yourself Grace
I’ve always struggled with mom guilt because I wanted to be the perfect mom. I put pressure on myself because I want my children to look to me as a role model. This for a long time meant trying to do everything and do it perfectly. In the past few months, I’ve started to give myself grace when I fell short of what I envisioned. I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect and once I did my personal best in that situation and at that time, that’s enough. I always go back to the book The Four Agreements, A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom and remind myself that my best can change from day to day. Some days you’re going to have to work longer hours, you’re going to have to travel, you’re going to miss out on recitals. It’s okay! Last fall, I was traveling the first time my daughter wore her formal uniform to school. I wanted to be there but I gave myself grace, I enjoyed the photos and I comforted myself in the fact that as a work at home mom, I don’t miss much at all. Praying, meditating and writing letters to myself helped me through this process. I’ve also surrounded myself with wonderful women who I can talk to. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, I am always here for you. Send me email! I’m a real mother, not just a blogger, we are in this together.
Recruit and Accept Help
I know you know exactly how you want things to be done, you know exactly what you want to make for dinner, how you want your kids dressed and you’ve convinced yourself that no one can take care of them like you. The truth is that if you want to get everything done, you’re going to need to recruit and accept help. Whether you need to hire help or have family, friends and colleagues who can help you professionally and personally help is important. I think our generation have a really hard time accepting help but women have survived better as a community for generations.
To have it all, you need to stop sweating the small stuff. You may be a girl boss, dressed to the nines, raising well-rounded kids but you may have to buy dinner or have a messy closet (my closet is currently messy). Write down your values in the order of priority. If your family is your top priority, let your life reflect that.
Less is More
Never-ending to-do lists are stressful! Life should be lived to the fullest. If you do everything on your to-do list you will be able to tick them off but you would miss out on living. Shorten your lists, do the hard things first and leave the small and easy tasks for random idle moments.
How do you find balance as a mother?