Friday, April 18, 2008

It's a Delicate Balancing Act

Balance: \ˈba-lən(t)s\ noun- an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements; mental and emotional steadiness; a state of equilibrium.


Life is a balancing act. I know that, you know that, we all know that. But knowing is completely different from doing. I KNOW I should prioritize. I KNOW I should do A and B before I get to C, but most days, I just want C.

I have two kinds of days. I have days when I'm completely overwhelmed with all I have to do; and I have days when I'm underwhelmed and feel like there's nothing to do. (and trust me, while the latter sounds nice in theory, it's really not)

My everyday life is pretty busy. I have certain obligations that I have to take care of. (obligations=children) but I struggle with feelings of guilt, and depression, and confidence. There's no way I can do everything that is expected of me. And if I were to give into the world's view of a perfect mom, I'd have even more things to feel guilty about.

Balancing "life" is something I struggle with. I have a constant internal debate about whether or not I'm spending enough time with my kids. Am I spending enough time on my husband? Am I spending enough time on me? Am I spending too much time on me? Is my house clean enough, are my children nice enough, are they happy enough?

The debate is endless. I have a hard time achieving the balance that my life needs. I have days when I'm completely overwhelmed with all I have to do. Doctor's appointments, dental appointments, playdates... and I don't foresee it getting LESS busy as my kids get older. No, I think it's going to get busiER. Oh my life, school buses? school events? PTA? GAH! what's a woman to do?

So I've been trying to get together a game plan of how I'm going to balance life. My list? long. giant. horrendous. enormous. HUGE.

And I've gone over and over it. I've edited it. I've taken out "extras" and edited out the unnecessary things. But it's still approximately 87 miles long. and I struggle.

I struggle with the guilt of spending time on the computer instead of outside with my children. I struggle with the guilt of cleaning the house instead of taking them to the park. I worry that I don't put them first, but then I think, of course I put them first! But that little voice in the back of my head says, "really? you think so?"

I believe that there are a top three when it comes to priorities. Me, my family, and the Lord. I have obligations to all these people. So, how do I make the time? Where does the balance come in? I firmly believe that if I put the Lord first, that everything else will be taken care of.

So, why haven't I been doing it? Why haven't I been putting Him first?

I know I should read the scriptures everyday. I know that we should have family scripture study time. I should be teaching my children how to be like Jesus by example, not just with words. And if I'm the example, how well am I doing?

I admit, we don't get family scripture time in every day. Sometimes, it's all we can do to make it to church on Sunday. We have Family Home Evening every week. We have family prayer, but in this day and age, is it enough?

(It's now time for the cheesy cliched analogy...) I can't stand still. When I think I have everything under control, when I start getting too sure of myself, that's when life knocks me on my rear. I need to remember to keep moving forward. To keep striving for balance. I'll never have it if I am just complacent.


Meg said... are awesome! I loved this post. You just summed up my life with four kids and put it in perspective again. Thanks.

hayngrl101 said...

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH! I, too, have been struggling with the balancing act and I really can't seem to make things come together. Of course! It is because I'm not putting the Lord first. *sigh* Why is it so difficult to be obedient? You are so not alone in this. Just want to say I think you're pretty awesome.

Kimberly said...

What? It's not going to get easier when they got older? Drat. Right...where do I hand in my resignation?

I can't help thinking that a feeling of balance in life would be so foreign to me that it would thereby throw me off balance again. Wouldn't that be ironic?

It's impossible to offer advice to anyone on this subject because we're so individual...we find our groove in different ways. Me, I'd like to be more consistent, but my pattern seems to be alternating between good productive days, and not so good unproductive sitting at the computer days. The hope is that they balance each other out, but I don't know.

Isn't it nice to have soooooo much room for improvement? =P

Brilliant post, luv.

Celia Fae said...

I don't get my stuff together because I don't have to. I think life is a continuum of balance and unbalance and when it gets too unbalanced, that is I can get it back together. HF knows. We're not perfect for a reason.

The above was brought to you by My Two Cents, CF edition.

HILLARY said...

mormon mommy syndrome. we all have it at some point and then we get over it. thank goodness the Lord is forgiving of us, especially when I have yelled at my 5yr old for the umpteenth time. or when i don't want to give my kids the attention they need because i just don't want to......

Nichole said...

I find it interesting that both sports you pictured to carry your theme each require: 1) teamwork; 2) some degree of inherent or learned skill; 3) the necessity to KEEP YOUR FEET MOVING; and 4) the lack of fear of getting wet!

That shows we can't do it alone, we have to know what we're getting into, we cannot stagnate, and it's gonna get messy!

For sure it IS a delicate balancing act! But it's no wonder we falter from time to time!

Kimberly said...

I found Hillary's comment interesting, but can't help thinking that this issue is bigger than concerns like religion. Yes, it's a factor in our view of the world and ourselves...those who ascribe to a lifestyle affecting faith may measure themselves differently, but certainly don't have a monopoly on being overwhelmed and out of balance. If anything, they have access to resources, spiritual uplifting, and a hope of a greater purpose to this life.

I think it's those without those blessings who have a much rougher time of it.

emily said...

i followed your link from your other blog and i'm SO glad I did!! WOW ... i have read this twice now ... and everytime i read the 'cliched' ending i tear up at "keep moving forward" ... i was totally needing this! thank you SO much for putting into words what i've been trying to understand about myself for a while! (side note: everytime i watch "meet the robinsons" i cry when they talk about 'keep moving forward' ... i seriously think that disney is inspired - they have their moments!)
anyway - THANK YOU THANK YOU!! you really don't know how you've touched my heart today!

Lauren said...

I struggle with balance, too. I struggle with it each and every day. I really appreciate this post. It was wonderful to read.

I have no pearls of wisdom to share. I just wanted to tell you that... You inspired me!