Is Balance a Myth?

balance kids feet

Are you balanced or walking on eggshells? Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

Yesterday, I discussed the fact that lately, I’m in demand 24/7. Even when I get time to myself, it’s in 10-minute increments—not exactly the necessary time needed to recharge my batteries. As if to illustrate my point, yesterday I put my son down for his nap and made it downstairs to start working, just to have my daughter finish her nap and be ready to go for the rest of the day. Not surprisingly, as FBG Jenn and I share brains, she talked about balance yesterday over on FBG. Is it really possible, or is it something we all strive to achieve that doesn’t really exist, like that “perfect” weight?

It was a post I needed to read, and not just because she complimented my skills in the balancing act that is my life (thanks, Jenn!). I think she’s totally right in that finding the perfect balance is like chasing perfection that doesn’t exist. And with kids and dogs and life, total perfection of anything just isn’t possible (just check for cracker crumbs in my couch cushions and the pug hair that gathers in corners). Especially considering that I sometimes was a walking disaster pre-kids! How do I expect to have plenty of time to “do it all” when so much of my time and attention is now diverted from things that I didn’t have time for to begin with?

That’s not to say I’m going to put all of my personal desires aside just because I have small kids. I just need to figure out how to do a couple of the selfish things I’m not doing without thinking I’m being selfish. Because while balance may be a difficult perfection to achieve, when you’re out of whack and stretched thin and totally out of balance, you know. In case you’re also seeking balance, read on for Jenn’s original post and tell us, how do you balance it all? Erin

Is There Really Such as Thing as Balance?

People talk about balance all the time. Heck, I talk about it all the time—finding it, cultivating it, holding on to it for dear life. But is this mythical “balance” all that it’s cracked up to be? And is it even possible to have? It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately…

For our recent FBG retreat we crashed Erin’s house in New Jersey, and I watched as she balanced (there’s that word again) the demands of motherhood, being a wife, being a friend and work. Seeing it first-hand, I think she does it all incredibly well—even though (and I don’t think she’d mind me sharing this with you) she says she feels like she can never do it all quite right or as well as she’d like to.

She, like many, wish for balance. I talk to my other friends about time and friends and workouts and career and even household chores, and they all want that elusive “balance.” That place where the email inbox is empty, the to-do list is checked off, the microwave is clean, they have more than enough time to meditate daily, and they feel good and strong and centered. I myself fall into this trap often. If I could just [insert life event or big to-do/change here], then I’d really feel good and balanced. If I could just finish this project, launch that site, follow this schedule or get that deal, then all would be balanced. The worst is when I rope my husband into the mix—if he could work less, get that big bonus and clean the toilets weekly, then really we’d both be better balanced and do nothing but sip on fine wine, eat like healthy foodies and laugh like we were on vacay 24/7. Right?

Wrong.

Continue reading…


Comments

  1. Melissa says

    I think about this all the time, now that I have two kids, I’m training for a half, I’m writing, and I return to school in the spring. (Oh! And I have a husband!) It’s not easy, and the irony is: I am way more efficient with my time now than ever in my life. If I would have been this way before the babes, I could have ruled the world.

    For me, the answer is rising early. I am blessed with a not-quite three month-old who sleeps like a dream, so I can wake at 5 or 5:30 without being exhausted. I love getting a handle on the day before the kids wake. It makes me much happier (and calmer) than a few extra minutes of sleep.

    And any time I feel like doing something for myself is selfish, I think about something Stacy London said in her new book: Your hope for your daughter is not that she grows up to put everyone’s needs before her own and puts herself last on the list. In that spirit, I want to model how to “balance” for her.

  2. Allison says

    I have struggled with finding balance since my son was born 10 years ago. I tried to maintain my career and be the kind of mom that I wanted to be, but I personally could not do both. I chose my son over my career and became a stay at home mom. Ten years later, I don’t regret it, but I do feel occasional guilt for not cultivating my career. Now that my 3 children are in school, I have a part time job making half what I was making when I quit 10 years ago.

    I sacrificed my career, but I believe life is all about sacrificing for the greater good.

    I believe the key to finding balance is to “do things in chunks.” For example, when you are working, focus on your career and do the best you can for the years that you don’t have young children. When you have young children, it’s your time to be a mom-full on! When your kids are in school full time, go back to work, and embrace that you are a mom and a part time, or entry level worker. It’s OK! Give yourself a brake and embrace your choices!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *