Motherhood and Balance Don’t Mix: Here’s Why

BY: - 30 Oct '14 | Parenting

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Balance. Balance. Balance. When it comes to being a mother, whether you work outside of the home, work at home or are a stay-at-home mother, the question of balance comes up over and over again. Work-life balance. What exactly is that?

This past weekend I had the honor of attending and sitting in on a panel at the Moms As Entrepreneurs Conference, to talk about strategies in balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. Honestly, I dislike the word balance. It’s misleading. Balance is a myth. I don’t believe I balance things out. But I do believe that I juggle things well. As I stated in this previous articleyou can’t give 100% to everything at the same time. If you’re rocking it out in one area of your life, another area is probably not as stellar. And that will probably change from day to day, week to week. And guess what? It’s okay. Some days I’m killing it with homeschooling and some days I’m not. Some days I’m killing it in my business and some days I’m not. And I’m okay with that.

From one day to the next, my priorities might change. I may have to move one thing up on the priority list, and move another down. Everything that I hold close to me is in rotation, just like the balls in a juggling act. Even if you’re only juggling two balls, those two balls will never be at the same exact height (priority) at the same time. They take turns. I balance the tires on my car, but I don’t try to balance my life and everything in it. That’s too much pressure. And being a good wife, mother, business owner is pressure enough.

Balance is overrated. But society has led us to believe otherwise. We’re led to believe that there’s a perfect equation or formula to “having it all” and creating this mythical thing call balance in our lives. But in my opinion, “having it all” has nothing to do with balance, and everything to do with juggling our core values and priorities. It has everything to do with creating your own “village” and asking for help when you need it. It’s impossible to give every single area of our life the same exact focus and attention at any given moment. Something will always get the short end of the stick. But if you understand and are in sync with your true core values, then you’ll be okay with that.

Motherhood is a juggling act. Juggling takes focus and clarity. Motherhood and balance don’t mix. Stop looking for balance, and instead, dust off your juggling skills (or develop new ones).

BMWK: Hey moms, what are some tips you use to juggle the many prioirities on your daily to-do list?

 

 

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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3 Decisions that Are Making Me a Better Wife and Mom

BY: - 4 Nov '14 | Marriage

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This is part of a sponsored campaign with McDonald’s®. All opinions are my own.

When I arrived home from work on Friday, my kids greeted me at the door.  And before they could open their mouths I said: “Don’t say it. Don’t ask me for anything right now.  Let me get into the house and get my bearings.”

As I proceeded to go upstairs to sort the laundry (yes you read that correctly…sort the laundry) our tween daughter blocked my path and she opened her mouth. I said: “Don’t say it.”  She said: “But mom, I need you to help me pack for my field trip that’s next week.”  I said:  “Didn’t I say don’t ask me for anything.  Then I said: “I will help you pack later….don’t worry Mom’s got you.”

I was in a rush, our dryer was broken and I forgot to call the repair man all week.  I knew I had a short window of time to get our clothes to the laundry mat on Friday because I already had plans on Saturday and Sunday.  I also had to tutor a teen in Algebra at 7 PM on Friday night.  I was racing against the clock to get that laundry done.

So, our daughter decided she would go with me to the laundromat.  Not to help, but to pout about not getting her way earlier. So while on the way to the laundromat, I had to put up with her pouting and her sassy attitude.  And that’s when I cracked…right there in the car.  I went completely ham.  I gave her this long and loud speech about having too much on my plate and about how I had better things to do than to sit in a laundromat on a Friday evening after work.

But then I decided, it’s not her fault that I have too much on my plate.  (Although, she can take the credit for pushing me completely over the edge.)  But rather, it was my fault for being on the edge in the first place.

So I calmed down.  When we arrived at the laundromat, I called the mom of the teen that I tutored and asked her to bring him on Sunday night and I apologized for changing the plans.  And you know what she told me: “I completely understand. Sometimes you have to focus on yourself before you can do for others.”  And just that quick, a weight had been lifted.  My daughter and I had the best time at the laundromat on that Friday evening after work.

For a brief moment, I lost focus of a few important rules that all moms should live by:

Take Care of Yourself

You can’t be a great mother or wife if you’re neglecting yourself (mentally, physically, or emotionally.) Take care of your own personal needs, and your family will reap the benefits.

Tip: Save some time in the morning just for you. For example, stop by McDonald’s® in the morning for a delicious cup of medium roasted McCafé coffee.  And, take a few minutes to read one of your favorite magazines or novels as you prepare yourself for the day ahead.

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Learn How to Say No

As a mother and wife, you have to set some boundaries and limits. Or else, you will find yourself over extended. And sometimes, you even have to tell yourself no…like girl, you are crazy for trying to schedule all of that into Friday evening when you know you had a long hard week of work.

Focus on the Moments that Matter

This one is really big for me. Sometimes I lose focus of what really matters when I am trying to get things done and trying to make everything perfect. And I lose sight of what really matters. So the next time you are having a hectic day, take a time out and really assess what really matters. And you’ll find that what really matters is you…your family needs you.

Tip: If you’re having a really stressful day at work, skip cooking dinner.  Take the family over to your local McDonald’s®, so the kids can enjoy eating Cheeseburgers, Chicken Nuggets, and Apple Slices.  And you can enjoy one of their delicious salads like the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken. Take time out from the daily grind to just enjoy each other…those are the moments that really matter.

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BMWK – Please share with us what decisions you make that help you focus on being the best wife and mother each day.

Disclosure: Thank you to McDonald’s® for sponsoring this post and for always being there over the years when I’ve needed to focus on what really matters.  All opinions are my own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 504 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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