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?