Juggling the Joys of Motherhood

Becoming a mother can certainly tip the scales in one direction – often in the direction of exhaustion and overwhelm.  This is true for all seasons of motherhood – I can remember thinking that things will get easier as my kids get older, but that was not always the case.   Tasks that took my time when they were little, just changed a bit and they still required time, energy and creativity.

Motherhood in general can set things off balance.

I am sure since I am struggling now with finding a ‘new’ balance in my life, there are others who are looking for ways to find pause in the chaos that can mount.  I hope these tips will help you find balance and rhythm as you approach summer and want to spend more time with your kids doing fun stuff!

Everything Every Day

Each day has only so many waking hours. One of the temptations in our quest for balance is to try to give equal time to all our responsibilities and interests every day. However, unless you plan on spending two minutes on each activity, task, or interest, this is probably not going to work!

Here’s a way to compromise: rather than trying to do everything every day, break your tasks and responsibilities down into weekly things. You probably can’t read a book or take a bubble bath to unwind every day, but why not once a week? If you can’t make time to play with your children for an hour a day, do it for a few hours once a week. Looking at things from a weekly perspective rather than a daily one can make all the difference.  This is what helps moms tackle tasks in the Weekly Household Planner.  What I’ve created is a general task list that will help you cover most of the areas in your home on a regular routine, but sometimes your schedule and routine won’t allow you to cross off all those tasks – that’s okay!  Grace mama – grace!

It’s Your Family

Your head can spin if you start researching and discovering the opinions of others as to finding balance in motherhood. This is because you will find that for every person, there’s a different opinion (almost)! Some will say mothers should “never” work outside the home; others will declare it’s essential. Still others hold to the philosophies of “attachment parenting” while others believe you should “detach” from your kids as often as possible.

To reconcile this, just remember that it’s your family, and no family is exactly like yours. No one lives your life but you, and no one can decide what works best for your family but you and your family. What feels “balanced” to you may look off-balance to someone else, and that’s okay.  I share more on this in my book, “Becoming the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be” – you are the expert on your kids, your family and your life – not me, not your fabulous “have it all together” mom neighbor down the street – YOU!  God gave you your family and most especially gave you what you need to care for them.  {I have a hard time remember that on some of those hard days ladies, so I get the doubt too!}

No One Is an Island

Even if you feel alone, you’re not an island. Don’t try to do everything yourself, and don’t feel guilty if you need to ask for help. Being able to “call in reinforcements” – whether it’s a family member, sitter, husband, friend, etc. – can make the difference between a happy, balanced mom and a stressed, off-kilter one!  This is probably my toughest area to conquer.  I hate asking for help.  I want to be able to do it all myself. I struggle with perfectionism and I think I should be able to do it all, all the time, perfectly.

What Do You Want?

Here’s where you can make a list to help get things straight. Asking yourself what you want out of life is worthwhile, and setting long-term as well as short term goals is a good idea also. But what about each day?

How do you want your ideal day to look?

What can you do to make that happen?

Start making changes as you work toward that ideal schedule.

My favorite saying to share with moms is that making a small tiny change is a BIG step toward larger change in your home.  It all starts with a small change in one area.  Pick just one thing to focus on and do it well – then move on from there.  You will see how just the smallest thing can make positive changes in your home.

Remember when I shared about my struggle with my parenting a few weeks ago?  Well, I’ve made a few small changes and I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  It took me making a small change and sticking with it.  Commitment, consistency and determination – perseverance!  That is my word for 2013 – and I am working toward it in all areas of my life.

What small change can you make today to realign yourself? 

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