Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4 Ways to Find Balance as a Busy Mom

4 Ways to Find Balance as a Busy Mom

Photo adapted from this photo

Sometimes I think that one of the hardest parts of being a mom is finding balance. Every day we have about 100 things that we HAVE to do, and then we have about another 1,000 more that we would LOVE to do if only we had the time or the energy.   But we don't have the time or the energy. We already spent it all feeling guilty about all the things that everyone else somehow manages to do that we don't--like escaping from the house wearing clothes that aren't covered in baby spit-up, like exercising more than once a year, or like throwing an amazing Pinterest-worthy birthday party in the backyard of your gorgeous, Pinterest-worthy house. Or is that just me? :)   Well, it's time to stop the madness. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. Nobody's perfect. And nobody is expected to be perfect. But we can be good moms--or even great moms!--if we stop chasing perfection and start striving for an appropriate balance instead. Here are four great ways to find it.  

1. Determine What Really Matters Most in Your Life

  You can have anything, but you can't have everything. Time that you spend doing one task is time that you don't spend doing another. And unfortunately those tasks that don't matter as much always seem to find their way to the top of the list.   One method of finding balance that I have to constantly use over and over again is reminding myself what is most important in life. For me, being a good mom and wife is at the top of my list. There are plenty of other things that I like and need to do, but I always need to remind myself that my family comes first. The dishes can wait. The blog post can wait. My kids are only going to be little for so long.  

2. Schedule Your Time Wisely

  Once you figure out where your priorities are, it really helps to schedule your time accordingly. This will help you make time for the things you need to do while preventing the less important things from taking over.   For example: I clean in the mornings, I work while they nap, and I set aside time to play with them without distractions in the afternoons. This way, everything gets done and no one thing can take over more than its fair share of my time. This also really helps me focus, because I know I only have so long to complete each task before I have to move on.  

3. Take Fun Breaks

  For me, at least, it can be really easy to fall into "focus" mode, where I focus more on crossing items off of my to-do list, and less on spending quality time with the real people around me. Not only does this cause burn-out, but it doesn't develop good relationships and it isn't much fun either!   It is okay to fall behind on the housework! It's okay if you miss a blog post. It's okay if you feed your kids whatever you could find in the cupboards for dinner because you didn't make it to the store. Take time out of your busy day for fun. What are you going to care about more in 30 years? The fact that you spent time with your kids making memories, or the fact that your laundry was always folded?  

4. Realize that No One Else Has it Together, Either

  I think it's so funny when people ask me questions like "How do you balance it all?" What makes you think I do? I don't! It's so easy to get online and see just one aspect of someone's life and think that it paints a whole picture, or that they really have it figured out. But really, we only see their Facebook highlight reel.   The ladies who post awesome crafts on Pinterest? They probably didn't do them with their kids (or they wouldn't have gotten such great pictures). The ladies who write inspiring posts on their blogs? They mess up too. The ladies whose houses look so beautiful when they post pictures online? They probably just cleared the clutter from that one spot for the picture (I do this alllll the time!) I'm not trying to be mean--just saying, we don't know the whole story. It's so easy to think that because we see a few great pictures, that their entire lives must be perfect, when honestly, they aren't.     So, it's time to stop the madness. Stop aiming for perfection--it's all fake anyways. Stop worrying about what other people have and do. And just live YOUR life! It's the only one you have. Might as well enjoy it!   How often do you fall into the trap of feeling like you have to do it all or be it all? What steps do you need to take TODAY to help you find balance?     

 Brittany is a stay-at-home wife and mother who loves Jesus and helping other people fall in love with him too. When she isn’t busy picking up toys or changing diapers, she blogs about finding God in the midst of it all on her blog 17 Hour Days. You can find Brittany on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’.
  

9 comments:

  1. I am definitely bookmarking this for the years when I want to pull my hair out! lol So in about 5 years when I have some little ones running around and I am sleep deprived :) Thank you for sharing Stephanie! I always admire what a great mom you are!

    http://neatly-packaged.blogspot.com/

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    1. How kind of you to think so. I'm a hot mess most of the time but I wouldn't want to spend my days anyway else. Being Connor's Mom is what I was meant to be doing.

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  2. Even without kids, you are probably still pretty busy too! It's like an American epidemic. We're all running around, busier than ever, but getting less quality things done than ever before.

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    1. Ain't that the truth. It's so nice to just SLOW DOWN!

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  3. There's that love/hate relationship with Pinterest... All these wonderful, beautiful, perfect things that *everyone* else seems to be doing/making/has... Oy.
    Pretty sure I need to make some time for more fun breaks!

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    1. I know what you mean! I just always remind myself that not everyone is doing everything though. Maybe they made a few crafts? Then they probably didn't take their kids to the pool. Maybe they baked something awesome. Then they probably had mac n cheese for dinner. Just because they do one thing well, doesn't mean they do everything well. And I bet you have several things you do well too!

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    2. We take fun break it daily. Sometimes, that's the only way I know we can get through dinner, bath and bed time.

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  4. YES, YES, YES! I find myself far too often comparing myself to all the "perfect" I see on the internet - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, etc. And then I feel bad about myself. My house is not perfect. I don't like in my dream house. I let my kid watch an hour of Mickey Mouse. I made him chicken nuggets for dinner. And it's ok! It doesn't happen everyday, but it's ok to happen every once in a while. I love this post! You are so right.

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    1. You know... the days I don't worry about everything or make sure I'm doing it all right, those are my favorite days. The ones that I seem to enjoy so much more.

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Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie