Becoming a mother can certainly tip the scales in one direction – often in the direction of exhaustion! This is not only true for mothers who work outside the home. In fact, stay-at-home Moms — who often have no respite from parenting and domestic work — often feel the lack of balance in their lives, too.
Motherhood can certainly set things off balance.
Here are some tips for finding balance for anyone who is juggling the joys of motherhood.
1. From Daily to Weekly Activities
Each day has only so many waking hours. One of the temptations in your quest for balance is to try to give equal time to all your responsibilities and interests every day. However, unless you plan on spending two minutes on each activity, task, or interest, this is probably not going to work!
Here’s a way to compromise: rather than trying to do everything every day, break your tasks and responsibilities down into weekly things. You probably can’t read a book or take a bubble bath to unwind every day, but why not once a week? If you can’t make time to play with your children for an hour a day, do it for a few hours once a week. Looking at things from a weekly perspective rather than a daily one can make all the difference.
2. What’s Right for Your Family
Your head will spin if you seek the opinions of others about motherhood. This is because almost every person has a different opinion! Some will say mothers should “never” work outside the home; others will declare it’s essential. Still others hold to the philosophies of “attachment parenting,” while others believe you teach your kids to be independent as soon as possible.
To reconcile this, just remember that it’s your family, and no family is exactly like yours. No one lives your life but you, and no one can decide what works best for your family but you and your family. What feels “balanced” to you may look off-balance to someone else, and that’s okay.
3. No Mom Is an Island
Even if you feel alone, you’re not an island. Don’t try to do everything yourself, and don’t feel guilty if you need to ask for help, or need to get a break once in a while. Being able to “call in reinforcements” – whether it’s a family member, sitter, husband, friend, etc. – can make the difference between a happy, balanced mom and a stressed, off-kilter one!
4. What Do You Want?
Make a list to help get things straight. Ask yourself what you want out of life, and set long-term goals. Also think about each day: What does your ideal day to look like? What can you do to make that a reality? Start making changes toward that ideal schedule.
Motherhood is a tough job. Juggling it with being a wife, keeping a job or pursuing a career, caring for aging parents, volunteering in the community, and your many other roles is even tougher! Some days will feel chaotic. When that happens, take a deep breath, and count your blessings.
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