A few weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook page. “What defines your success?”. I was expecting a lot of numbers. I was expecting people to define success in life as a number beside their name because traditionally, we judge our self worth on our pay cheque. To my surprise, not one single person replied with the key to their success being a wage increase at their job. The overwhelming response was that the key to success in life is finding the perfect balance between work, kids, your partner, money, home life and self care.
This prompted an immediate revamp of my previous blog. How could I post about balance being the secret to success if everyone already has this figured out?
Or do they have it figured out?
Balance, self-care and mindfulness are big words in society at the moment and I am so happy they are. We spend most of our days struggling to tread water as a mother. We have demands on us that were never expected of moms prior to Pinterest. At the end of the day, sometimes the “balance” we are searching for might just be a bowl of ice cream and The Bachelor before bed. Thankfully ice cream has the perfect balance of dairy and sweet—the Bachelor has the perfect balance of gossip and drama.
Okay, got it. But really, once we take out our 20 minutes of delicious indulgence and television, does “balance” simply become another task we need to place on our to-do list?
- Groceries, check.
- Soccer practice, check.
- Date night with spouse, maybe we can get to that next week.
- Balance?? I’ll find that later as well.
The Key to My Balanced Life
I don’t have life figured out. And I certainly don’t always understand the path in my journey through motherhood. I can say that I know myself well enough to know when I’m feeling uncomfortable. The feeling of discomfort seeps in when I least expect it. Discomfort happens when I am experiencing something new, when I am unsure if I belong, or when I am doubting my ability to complete a task. Discomfort happens when I am not prepared. Sometimes discomfort arises in when I am mentally exhausted or physically in pain.
Balance can not possibly mean that we can equally divide ourselves in to five perfect categories. We can’t always be a Pinterest-worthy mom, a rockstar employee, doting partner, financial planner and mindfulness guru.
There are periods of our lives, especially when our children are young, that there is going to be a heavier shift to the mom side and likely a tiny amount given to self-care and finances. We may have moments when our self-care should take a high priority, such as when you’re grieving or ill. Your professional life may temporarily outweigh the other areas if your livelihood is dependent on this, for example. Our partners, where do they come in after all of this? Maybe the date nights could take a little more of this pie once in a while— they always seem to get the smallest piece of our “balanced” life.
I truly believe there is a difference between being constantly uncomfortable with your circumstances and feeling imbalanced in your life. We can recognize the uncomfortable feelings and lean on our tribe to support us though whatever season we are in, but change must happen in order to make those feelings normal again. Balance doesn’t have to be a perfect pie chart of equally divided projects. We may not need to change anything before it shifts to another area of your life. Having an expectation on yourself that life should be a perfect creation of equal bliss is undoubtably setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.