Mothers Speak: Balancing Act

I spent the better part of last night catching up on the “My Balance” series from Joanna Goddard’s blog. Her latest string of posts speaks directly to the woman who’s constant quest is to find the balance between work, life, and motherhood. I don’t know one woman in my sphere of relationship who isn’t trying desperately to find just that, and ladies, if we’re honest, don’t you feel like most days everyone else is in the lead and you’re destined to be the last runner to cross the finish line if you’re lucky enough to make it there in one piece? Its a complete circus around my house most days and I feel like I’m in the center ring and balls keep getting thrown my way and I’m juggling…. juggling…. juggling. The phone rings….. juggling….. Salem wants juice…. juggling….. Mia needs a new diaper…. juggling…. Clark wants my input on a song idea…. juggling…. My hair hasn’t been washed in 3 days….. juggling!

Right after Salem was born we began to implement “Mom’s morning out” once a week. At first, I felt guilty being away from the baby… but not that guilty. The inspiration that I drew from getting reacquainted with my own passions and interests during those few precious hours away from home spilled over onto my family upon my return. It got to the point where Clark would practically push me out the door because as the old saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. The more inspiration I would glean, the less conflicted I would feel at home. The more I tended to the status of my spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and creative health during those designated hours, the more pleasant I was to be around, and the more present I was for the demands of home and family.

What does this have to do with juggling? What if I came to grips with the fact that the phone is never going to stop ringing, the to-do list is never going to get any shorter, and as long as I have hair, it will at some point need washing? What if I directed my energies less toward the balance of work and motherhood, and more toward the balance of health and relationships? What would that look like? Would I feel less upset about the pink ring in the toilet bowl and more sympathetic toward the friend who is saying goodbye to her mother for perhaps the last time? Perhaps I am suggesting a new balancing act.

Is it impossible to stay adequately fueled while fervently spending yourself of behalf of those around you?

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2 Comments

  1. Cindi said,

    July 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    As a woman who is sort of on the other side of the motherhood thing (I’m still a Mom, of course, but I am no longer responsible for the day-in, day-out care of my children because they take pretty darn good care of themselves, thank you), I can tell you that this is something that I struggled with, as well. I read and re-read Gigi Graham Tchividjian’s Book: “A Search for Serenity: Encouragement for Your Weary Days” because it really spoke to my heart as a person who wanted to be there and do everything for everyone. I could really relate to her because she, too, married young and she, too, struggled with others’ expectations of her (she is Billy Graham’s daughter, for Heaven’s sake!) That book really spoke to my heart.

    If I could go back and re-do things, I think the only thing I would change is that I wouldn’t try to be all things to all people at the expense of my family. I would still want to serve others and teach my kids to serve others, but I wouldn’t put pressure on myself to do it ALL. I would leave room for others to serve, and I would even allow them to serve me sometimes without feeling guilty about it. ­čÖé

    One piece of advice I found helpful in my scattered, busy wife-Mom-homeschool teacher-Bible teacher-friend-daughter-daughter-in-law-neighbor-citizen existence was this: “Wherever you are, be all there.” In other words, I had to learn to focus on who I was with when I was with them instead of constantly planning and creating a To Do list in my mind at the risk of missing something important that was happening right in front of my face. I didn’t do this successfully 100% of the time, but when I did, it was so rewarding!!

    • ladylullabuy said,

      July 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

      “Wherever you are, be all there.” That has stuck with me so much this week. Right now, it is 6am and I’m sweating in our rented co-working space trying to complete my Kindermusik training before the kids wake up and start their day. Be all there…. be all there…. be all there… eventually it will stick.


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