The Balancing Act
The Webster’s Dictionary defines balance as 1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. 2. a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Let’s step back and really understand what balance as a spouse, mother, nurse, teacher, caregiver, chef, maid, a woman of many hats truly means. Let me know when you figure it out.
The truth is balance is keeping yourself together long enough to make it through the day. I use to always say “I am trying to find the perfect balance between being a stay at home mom of 3 and running a small business”. Some days things flow really, really well and then there are those days when I want to pull my hair out. Here are a few things that I have learned over the past few years.
Make a list of what really matters to you. Keep the important things on top daily. For example my immediate family comes first. I say immediate because I use to stress myself out over all of the little things my extended family was going through. Now I learned to say, ”you can’t fix everyone’s problems.” Jot down the top three priorities in your life and stick to them.
Learn to Say No!
Most women struggle with this one. We want to do it all. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or look bad because we haven’t volunteered this month. Last year I was the room parent, volunteer for a mentoring program and helped keep the soccer team organized. It was bananas. This year I learned to say no. I still participate when I can but I don’t over do it. Don’t feel bad if you say no here and there. They will survive.
It is important to stay organized. Make a to do list daily or weekly of the important things that you must accomplish. I like to make my list the night before so I already know what my upcoming day looks like. Post- it-notes, iPhone messages and daily planners will help keep you on track.
One thing that I had to learn the hard way was to ask for help. I had a two and a half year old and a newborn but still wanted to be super woman and do it all. Well after a few months, it took a toll on me and I got sick. I learned that it is okay to ask for help. It may mean hiring a housekeeper or babysitter, or simply asking a family member to pitch in a little to lift the load off of you. The truth is we really can’t do it all.
Once you recognize that there are some things that may not get done today, this week or even this month, the pressure to “do it all” will subside. It is okay if you do not get to all of the things on your to do list. You tried and tomorrow you can try again.
In conclusion, the art of balancing life is a skill that the more you do it, the better you become at it. Everyone has to find his or her own balance. Take it one day at a time and remember there is always tomorrow.
Sharonda Butler Stewart is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children and owner of Sporty Mommas, LLC. Be sure to tune in to her new radio show “What Momma Never Told Ya” on live365.com/ownyourpower.com on Mondays and Thursdays at 9 p.m.