Finding balance was my theme this summer. It has been a juggle since becoming a Mom but I made it my mission to find a more healthy balance with life. I focused more on getting out and doing things with my kids and less time on things that were wasting my time. We had a jam packed summer and it was our most fun yet! We had some amazing adventures as a family and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
I am trying to take full advantage of my boys being young and at home but with that comes sacrifices. I’ve had to turn down more social invitations for myself and do more things for my boys. I’ve had to work to make time for things to do on my own so I don’t get too worn down in the “Mom” department.
We all go through changes in our life that cause us to go back to the drawing board and “re-balance.” I think in this day and age we are all so caught up in doing it all. Being the homemaker while still going to work outside of the home, running or starting a business, trying to keep up with kids’ busy schedules and lastly, making time for ourselves. Dave and I are both guilty of “burning the candle from both ends” so we are working on saying no to some things without feeling guilty about it. This is a challenge for us because we are both people-pleasers. We tried to do it all before and it didn’t work for us. We saw it in our marriage and in the boys and decided to stop it in it’s tracks. I have turned down play-dates, dinners with friends and invites for weekends away simply because I know I need to be home.
When I do have a night away from my responsibilities at home I cherish it. I am lucky to have such amazing friends that will let me talk their ears off about the latest adorable or crazy thing my kids have done or cry because I feel so defeated with the role of being a mom. I say it all the time but it is so important to have a strong tribe. If you have a person or two you can go to in good times or bad, you will make it through just fine. This has helped me find a new balance. My closest friends are my medicine. They pick me up just when I need it and are extremely understanding of where I’m at in life.
A big part of me being happy is to work through emotions, both happy and sad and having someone to help you through that will save you. The older I get the more I learn how to listen to my heart and stay true to myself without feeling guilty about it. This is another thing I think we have a hard time with. Guilt; the fear of letting someone down. If you own your happiness and support your own decisions, you will have those feelings less and you will be surrounded with people who will have your back. That’s probably where my foundation for my balance comes from. Once I got over the “trying to please everyone” expectation I put on myself I found it a lot easier to put what I want/need on my plate.
Self care is a huge part of me “filling up my cup.” There is nothing like a manicure, a solo trip to Target or dinner with a friend to make me feel more refreshed. After having kids I put myself on the back-burner. I’m very lucky to have a husband who comes home from work and sends me to a massage appointment or will take over my normal tasks at night so I can meet a friend for dinner. Whatever self care looks like to you, do that and do it often – without guilt. If you don’t have a partner with a flexible schedule or you’re a single parent, find a friend or family member that you can leave your kids with for a few hours to escape. It doesn’t need to happen every week, but every once in awhile do something for yourself.
I’ve had to create balance a few times in my life and having kids has definitely been the most challenging to figure out. Finding time for Dave and I to reconnect is one of the biggest priorities I’ve had to work on. Before kids it was natural because it was just the two of us. We didn’t have to plan a date night days in advance or stay up late just to talk about the day. We are a “divide and conquer” couple so we have to work extra hard at making time for each other. We try to get a date night in a few times a month and I think that is our marriages saving grace. He is great at planning surprise date nights too which I absolutely love. Staying connected to your spouse will only make life easier. but you will feel more like a team.
I’m no expert on life, parenting or marriage but these are things I think aren’t talked about enough. It’s easy to get caught up in the “instagram/pinterest perfect” lifestyle but no one likes to talk about the real stuff. Why? Well, it’s not fun to talk about the things we struggle with the most. Most people (myself included) like to use social media to escape from the chaos under our own roof. It’s nice to get on instagram and step into someone else’s world for a few minutes. Or is that just me? I don’t want to watch stories of people complaining about the same stuff I struggle with when that’s what I’m trying to distract myself from. We like to share our “happy”, not our struggles. It’s just important to remember that what we see on that little screen is a tiny, perfect glimpse of someone’s life. We need to stop the comparison from what we see on social media to our own reality. Everyone’s balance looks a little different and that’s okay. You have to do what’s right for you and your family. I want to hear what you do to create balance in your life!