Busy Moms Strive to Have Perfect Balance
Busy moms have a lot in common with circus performers. We have to juggle many balls in the air – and we worry that it’s all going to come crashing down at any moment! Additionally, we strive to perfect our balancing act, some days feeling more surefooted than others. Add some crying babies, toddlers melting down, and kids needing help with homework, rides to soccer practice, a Band Aid or a snack, and your life often feels like a three-ring circus!
Since there are only 24 hours in a day, how are we supposed to fit it all in?
- First, identify all the balls you are juggling. Envision this: each of our balls has a label. Each label (each ball) represents relationships or responsibilities that need our time and attention. For most of us, our balls are labeled: kids, spouse/partner, parents, siblings, friends, work, house/yard, church/synagogue, and organizations in which we are members . . . to name a few.
- Second, assess the importance of each of your balls. Undoubtedly, some of your balls will be more important to you than others.
- Third, determine if you can let go of any balls that are not very important to you. For example, what would happen if you chose not to continue your membership in XYZ organization?
- Fourth, determine if you can delegate any of the balls to others. For example, can you hire someone to mow your lawn for you? Can you buy a baked good that you can contribute to the church social rather than having to bake something from scratch yourself? If you can delegate some balls to others, you can preserve your time for your more important balls (i.e., quality time with your kids).
- Rely on a nanny for help with childcare, shuttling kids to school and other activities, as well as errands and housework. By having your nanny perform these routine tasks, your time with your kids can be preserved for quality-time activities. For example, while your nanny is driving in rush-hour traffic, shuttling your kids from ballet to piano lessons, you can be at home, making their favorite dinner & setting up for a family board games evening.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Our inclination as mothers is to care for our children, husband, friends and colleagues…which leaves no time to take care of ourselves! However, if we give all we’ve got, and then we have nothing left to give, we end up not being able to attend to anyone well. In order for us to care for others well on a sustained basis, we must take care of ourselves. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. When you feel good, you’ll be better equipped to deal with your hectic schedule. And when you’re not feeling your best, you’re much more likely to feel overwhelmed.
- Be gentle with yourself and don’t hold yourself to a super-human set of expectations. Sure, it would be nice to have a spotless house, be the president of the PTA, bake homemade bread, volunteer at the local hospital, get a raise and promotion at work, and spend time helping in your child’s classroom. But, of course, it’s not realistic to accomplish all of these things. Decide what’s most important and do that. Delegate what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
We’re all looking for balance in our lives, which is often challenging to achieve. What balls are you juggling? What are your tips to make it all work?