I often get asked, Christy, how do you balance it all? Wife, mom, business owner, attorney, adjunct professor, blogger, homeschool teacher, volunteer, daughter, friend, and on and on. We all play a multitude of roles, don’t we? So, how do I find balance? Drum Roll Please….
The simple truth is….I don’t. In my opinion, balance is for gymnastics, not life. Each day my routine varies. But not one day consists of balance between work and life. Every day consists of just life, with all its twists and turns, some anticipated, some not. Some days lean heavier towards work. Where on other days, mom/family life clearly dominate. Some days play out by the book, or calendar, I should say. Others, completely derail.
The secret about work-life balance – it doesn’t exist. But, and this is a big but, unbalance doesn’t equate to unhappy, or unfulfilled, or unproductive. If you are expecting balance in order to feel content or fulfilled, you are looking in the wrong place.
If you are struggling to feel balanced in your life, here’s 3 possible reasons why and how to change that.
You’re Not Being Honest with Yourself: Being honest with yourself is a big component to living a fulfilled life. How honest are you about how much you can handle in a day? How honest are you about your goals? How honest are you with yourself about your limits? When you are not honest with yourself, you add unrealistic pressures and stress. Reality check time. You need consistent reality check-ins with yourself. Remaining true to yourself will help you in all aspects of your life.
You Need to Learn to Say No: This is a really hard one for me. I lived my life in a constant state of doing everything everyone else wanted or needed me to do. What do my kids need? What does my husband need? What do my parents need? How can I help out my friends? How can I help out the teachers? This all changed the day I picked up a book called “The Best Yes,” by Lisa Terkeurst. This book will help you let go of that need to please everyone and escape the guilt of disappointing others.
You’re Not Best Friends with Your Calendar or Planning Ahead: My calendar is literally one of my best friends. I live by it. I learned the hard way that I cannot rely solely on my memory to keep me organized. My calendar holds my personal schedule, the kids’ schedules, family commitments, my work commitments, appointments, deadlines, reminders and more. I use my phone calendar and a printed calendar. The printed calendar is more for the family schedule. Become best friends with a calendar. It will help your life feel more balanced even if its not actually balanced. For more on how I color code my calendar and keep my family of 5 organized, check out this post.
To close out this post, here’s a glimpse into my unbalanced day: My day did not start with an early workout, as planned. It instead began with me sitting in an online queue to book a vaccine appointment for my dad (unsuccessfully). My teenager accidentally slept in, so the morning was rushed. I dropped off 2 kids at 2 different schools, completed 2 hours of homeschool including starting piano/music lessons, worked on this blog post, paused to make and eat lunch with my 7 year old homeschool student, more homeschool, ran errands, afternoon pick up routine, dropped 2 kids at sports for evening practice and literally squeezed in take-out for dinner because I failed to meal plan this week. No time for myself today unless I manage to steal some before bed tonight.
But it’s been a great day! I tried hard to focus in the moment, enjoy the laughter, and thank God for my kids’ schools, the opportunity to homeschool and the memories we’re making. I accept that every day, while busy, will not feel balanced.
Wishing you contentment in this season of busy, pressure and expectations. Take some time to pause and reflect on even the smallest moments. Remember to be honest with yourself, say no to the unnecessary and plan ahead as much as possible understanding it may not always go as planned.
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