A few months ago, I finished up a yoga class with a few balance poses. These were not hard poses. They were poses I had done for a while. But for some reason, I couldn’t seem to find my balance. I was all over the place and getting frustrated when the teacher called out, “Don’t forget to find your focal point.” I fixed my gaze on a dot on the floor and within seconds balanced on one foot with no problem.
My yoga balance challenge made me think about the concept of balance as it applies to our lives as moms. I know I’m not the only one who struggles to find balance in my multiple roles and commitments. I talk to friends about this all the time. And it’s not just us. If you Google the phrase “finding balance as a mom” you’ll discover approximately 14,400,000 results. The good news is that we are not alone.
My mom once told me that I could have it all, just not all at once. As a work at home mom with 4 kids, I’ve discovered how true her advice was! It’s taken conscious effort on my part to discover what works for each season of my life. I think the key to balancing my roles as mom, wife, daughter, friend, worker, volunteer, and my kid’s personal driver has been to understand my why.
Our why is like that focal point in my yoga class. If we don’t keep our focus on our why, we are most likely going to feel off balance until we eventually crash and burn. When we understand our why, we can filter every decision and commitment through it to find balance and more simplicity in our lives. Our lives will be a better reflection of our true values and we should still have energy left for the people that matter the most to us.
“Why am I doing this and how will this impact the vision I have for myself and my family?”
In our always on and available culture, there are many voices and opportunities calling us. Some of this work is really good, but it’s not always the most important work for this season of life. Before I agree or commit to one more thing, I ask myself a simple question, “Why am I doing this and how will this impact the vision I have for myself and my family?” Here are a few examples from my own life that might apply to yours as well:
- Why am I signing my child up for this sport or activity? What will we gain as a family? What might we lose? Is this activity something that promotes their long-term growth or will the costs, such as losing out on too much family time, outweigh the benefits?
- Why am I volunteering for this? Will my children see my hard work or does this directly impact their lives? Is this something I’m passionate about or am I doing this out of a sense of obligation? Am I volunteering to do something that I don’t even have time to do for my own family?
- Why am I so busy? Does being busy make me feel important and needed? Am I avoiding guilt or trying to please others? Am I worried that if I don’t do something no one will?
I don’t have this all figured out. I’ve seen the look of disappointment in my children’s eyes when I’ve said no too many times or asked them to wait just a minute more times that I can count. I’m a recovering doer, performer, and perfectionist who knows what it feels like to have everyone think you’re successful on the outside and feel like you’ve failed the people in your home.
I’m also living proof that if you find yourself completely overwhelmed and exhausted, it’s never too late to chart a different course. Take a deep breath, pick your head up, and find your focal point. Whether you’re a working mom, a SAHM, or a work at home mom like me, we can have it all. Just not all at once. And anyone that looks like they have it all right now is probably just better at pretending. If you’re in the trenches of the baby and toddler years or sorting through life with teenagers, this season will only last a little while.