How To Be Balanced While Looking for Balance
February 28, 2011 by Stephanie O'Dea
I was asked last week if I had a personal motto. I hesitated for a second, then blurted out:
THIS IS REAL LIFE, NOT A MAGAZINE.
I didn’t know that had been floating around my inner thoughts, but once I said it, I felt an enormous release of positive energy.
This is it. This is for real. I do not expect my children to be robots, so why should I expect to be “on” all the time? Why should I expect my cupcakes to look like the way they do on TV, or my garage shelves to be color coordinated? Why should I beat myself up if I happily feed my kids apple dippers from McDonalds every Wednesday because that’s our early-out day and it makes them happy, and if they’re happy then I’m happy?
I shouldn’t. and neither should you.
As much as I’d love to, I cannot do everything I want to do in a day. Trust me, I’ve tried. I cannot work out (P90X week 11, baby!!!), pray, read my bible, wipe down all my bathrooms, do 2 loads of laundry, cook a healthy dinner from scratch, write a witty blog post, drive my kids all the places they need to be, have s*x with my husband, blow dry my hair and play doll house with my 4 year old all on the same day. So I’m learning to prioritize the things that matter the most to me and let the other things go. FYI, it’s usually the s*x that I let go.
I love her honesty, and I know for a FACT that she is the norm. We all are. It’s hard work (really hard work) not not constantly feel as if you aren’t measuring up. I absolutely agree with Sandy that it’s impossible to be the perfect trophy wife and mother and it’s a futile effort to even try. I’m proud of her.
I’ve got a kid home sick with me today. She’s been vomiting every 90 minutes, and is snoring away at the foot of the bed (where I’m sitting, typing). I hate it that my first thought when she got sick last night was that it was going to “ruin” my day.
I am so ashamed.
My day was not ruined.
The world will keep spinning even though I didn’t post the General Tso’s chicken recipe along with all of the other Chinese food recipes I’ve made. I thought I better squeeze that post in before February was over, because that’s when Chinese New Year is celebrated.
February is over. I missed it.
I so don’t care.
The worst part of “working” on the internet is feeling as if you are continuously treading water. I hate that feeling. I know I could be doing things better. I know I could be tweeting more, or that I should figure out facebook. I know that I should attend more conferences, ask to be placed on panels, and further my brand (man, I really hate that term).
I know these things.
but I’ve decided to Just. Not. Care. I read post after post and article after article about outsourcing this or that or using VAs (virtual assistants) to leverage time efficiently.
Guess what I refuse to outsource? The kids.
You know your family the best. You know if you’re “phoning it in”—– please, take stock.
nothing else matters. it really doesn’t.
I’ve done all three acronyms: SAH, WOH, and now WAH. I was actually more on my game when I worked outside the home because I was able to walk away from work completely and be fully engaged. I loved being a stay at home mom, loved every second of it, but did have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I should be “doing” something to contribute to the family finances, and felt like I didn’t want to lose my identity.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to finding balance. The only solution is to keep questioning whether or not you’re on the right path. If you aren’t, you’ll know it. Change course.
Nigel Marsh did this video (10 min) and it’s worth playing in the background, if you have the chance (there’s a bit of questionable language, so be aware if you’ve got littles on your lap). I found it on the BloggingLabs site (where I go to read, ironically enough, how to be a better blogger).
Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your kids.
Have a great day.
Want even more? Buy the book! Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life is available now. This handy-dandy weekly planner will hold your hand throughout the year and will give you all the reminders and helpful prods you need to have the Very Best Year, ever. No need to wait for the New Year to start your organization mission, you can start at any time. Enjoy!