Soren is nearly 7 months, and I’ve found it particularly challenging to juggle all of the roles in my life. I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work from home, running my own business. Being able to set my own hours is probably the only reason I’m able to be a full-time mom AND business owner at the same time. Both require a lot of my time, not to mention the other hats I wear as a wife, homeowner, and friend.
I find myself constantly trying to “balance” everything and make all of my roles work perfectly together while not feeling a twinge of stress and having plenty of leisure time to enjoy Soren. But the truth is, “balance” is hardly, if ever, really achieved. I seem to only be able to juggle a couple different things well and then notice that something is left being sacrificed and dealt with halfheartedly.
Which brings me to the main point of this post. What does it mean to have a “balanced” life, is it even achievable? How do you rock at all of your roles AND be a full-time mom without being halfhearted in any area? While I’ve still got a ways to go at making everything run like a well-oiled machine, I have been learning a lot. Hopefully some of these will be inspirational to you in your own journey!
1. Make sacrifices — willingly. The hard reality of the situation is that things WILL have to be sacrificed. Putting the expectation on yourself to eat perfectly healthy, always exercise, keep a clean house, be a great mom, cook, run a business, spend time with friends, run errands, take up a hobby, answer all of your emails, remember to take your vitamins and look cute while doing it is a bit impossible, not to mention a STRESSFUL expectation to put on yourself. If you’ve been able to do this in your life, please let us know your secret! ;) Otherwise, it’s time to realize that it’s OKAY, and things will fall through the cracks sometimes. Sometimes a clean house will need to be sacrificed so you can get on the floor and play with your little ones for 20 minutes. Sometimes you’ll need to order out so you can attend to a client. It’s a constant stream of choices, of do this OR do that, and you’ll need to identify which one you’ll choose.
2. Identify your true priorities. Speaking of sacrifice and choosing, the best way to make the best decision for you and your family is to identify your priorities. What comes first in your life? What things are nice to get done but aren’t pressing and can be put off? When having to choose between two things, identifying your priorities can really help to make the decision easier. One of the things I love SO much about my husband Jon is that he will drop everything at the drop of the hat to be with me or help me if it’s something I truly need or if I’m in a bad place emotionally. I do my best to never abuse this, but I know I’m a priority to him and that he’ll come running if I say the words.
3. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. Balance… I feel like that word is thrown around everywhere. “Get balance in your life! Achieve balance!” I find myself often thinking…”Yes, that sounds great. I would love some balance, how do I place an order?” At the end of the day, I can get caught up in the failure of feeling like I can’t accomplish everything and I’m unable to balance all of the tasks in my life. I’m here to tell you…you are incredible, you do so much, you work really hard, BUT you are not a superhero outside of time and space that is magically able to do everything all of time forever and ever. Instead of chasing after something as unachievable as balance…why don’t we chase after life and joy? I would much rather stop and enjoy my day with Soren…watch him grow and learn…do my very best to get work done when I can, let myself be okay with ordering out and yeah…wear PJs almost every day… than beat myself up for not being perfect. It’s no way to live and just makes your back incredibly tight! ;)
4. Be intentional. With all of the talk about sacrifice, priorities and balance you might be thinking… well I HAVE to get things done, I can’t play all day… and yes, you are right! My biggest and most helpful tip is to be intentional with the time you have. If you have 2 hours to get work done, make the most of that time. Tackle the tasks that need to be accomplished first, work in a productive environment, stay focused and ask for help if you need someone to watch the little one for just a few hours here and there. I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish with three hours of focused time when I’m not piddling on Pinterest or surfing the web.
5. Say goodbye. Lastly, there’s a good chance that you can make things a lot easier by saying no to some things in your life. Are you doing too much? Are you being realistic about what you can really accomplish in a week? Are you stretching yourself too thin? Take some time to write out everything you do and all of your roles. Evaluate and identify the ones that have to stay and some that maybe you should let go of.
I hope this post was helpful for you! Be encouraged by knowing that this is an ongoing journey. You’ll need to keep tabs on this aspect of your life regularly. Ask for help if you need to!
Also, if you have any tips you would like to add, please feel free to share in the comment section below. :)