As a mommy, wife, church member, sister, daughter, homemaker, nanny, and a blogger I sometimes struggle with balancing my life and my work. There are many balls I drop all the time. Sometimes, I choose to go and hang out with my daughter for an entire morning, knowing that my house is a complete and utter mess. Other times, I feel my daughter tugging at my pants, pleading with me to play with her as I am trying to unload the dishwasher. The cycle of guilt is endless… and so is trying to figure out how to maintain balance in my life.
Isn’t it amazing how difficult it is to keep priorities in order? When to rest, when to write, when to read, or when to exercise? I struggle to find time to keep my house clean, maintain friendships, write blog posts, give service at church, and discipline my daughter- let alone enjoy date nights with my husband or go to the gym.
As a full time homemaker and a part time nanny and blogger, it can be even tougher to maintain a good balance. I always feel pulled in many directions, feel guilt about certain things I am not getting done, or figuring out when to sit down and write. I usually try and write when my daughter is asleep, which means getting up at the crack of dawn or writing at the end of the night. Many times, I simply skip writing for a week or so as I just crave time with my family and friends, fully knowing my blog will suffer. And other times, I write while my daughter is sitting on my lap, because I have a deadline or tons of creative energy.
It is not easy balancing life and keeping our priorities straight. Here are three ways things I try to remember when my life feels crazy and unbalanced.
Having grace for myself and others allows me to not expect so much. When I operate out of grace, I understand that I am not perfect, nor are the ones that God has placed in my life. Much of my impatience or anger comes from unmet expectations- I hope to have my whole house clean in two hours but my daughter keeps interrupting me, or I desire to play with my kiddo but get interrupted by a phone call. Having an attitude of graciousness puts everyone at ease, especially myself.
2. Remember the big picture
When I really feel like my life is a mess and I need to prioritize my time, I try to step back and look at the big picture. What is most important to me in the long run? Making sure my kid is the best at sports, or teaching my daughter about the love of Christ? Do I wish to check off all my lists or have a healthy and thriving marriage? Often, when I take a step back and look ahead 10 years to what I hope my life looks like, it makes it easier to make day to day and minute to minute decisions on how to fill my time. It allows me to, perhaps, turn off my television or log off Facebook and read a bit with Lillian or do a task with my husband. I keep a running list of long-term goals and desires for my family, and try to look at it every so often when I feel overwhelmed.
3. Let go of being perfect
Before I had my daughter, I spent hours out of my week trying to keep fit and tan. I went and got my hair done and highlighted, waxed my eyebrows every two weeks, and went shopping pretty often. During this precious season of my life as a mother, I don’t have as much time to maintain my figure or buy cute clothes, but I do try to fit running and working out into my schedule. The point is, I may never again be in the “best shape in my life”, but that is totally fine- being a mother is so worth it! As I grow and my priorities shift, I have to let go of being “perfect” in many areas. Struggles I face daily are having a perfectly clean house, having thriving and awesome friendships, staying in shape, being “great” at hobbies or jobs I get, or being the best mom and wife I can be. I am not perfect and I know no one is. My ability to control everything often gets thwarted by more important life lessons. I have been blessed with a beautiful family, a healthy body, and an able mind to find pleasure in hobbies and creativity. When I step back and marvel at what blessings I DO have, I feel so grateful.
Do you struggle to maintain work and life balance? Share with me how you encourage yourself day to day!