Posted by: coachingparents | August 9, 2007

Mom’s Balancing Act


“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at one time.”
-Oprah Winfrey

My 3 year old son received a toy for Christmas a few years ago that consists of several differently shaped wooden pieces that are meant to be placed on a clown shaped base in order to balance the toy. The way you layer the toy and the careful precision that is necessary to place the pieces determines whether the toy will rock evenly or tip to one side, like a teeter tauter. Each block has to be placed a specific way on the foundation piece and plays a role in whether the toy will balance, but each block is a different size and weight and will only fit a certain way.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”- Lena Horne

I began to reflect on the way we, as moms, are in a constant battle to juggle our many roles and responsibilities and how often we attempt to put the same energy into all of our own, differently sized blocks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well.

I am often asked how I balance my family; businesses; time for myself; and the many things I do in a given day and the answer is somewhat simple: I don’ pay attention to or allow the expectations of others to interfere with the priorities I have to set, in order to balance my life. “I don’t know the secret to success, but the key to failure is to try and please everyone!” -Bill Cosby

If I have to change an appointment or cancel a meeting, because it may interfere with time for myself, I will do it; if someone wants to schedule a call and it’s lunch time with my kids, I have to say no; if it’s after business hours and someone needs me to do something, I politely stick to the commitment I made-not- to work when my husband comes home from his work day. This may not work for everyone, but setting limits is critical if you are looking to maintain some semblance of balance in your life.

Consider these suggestions:

Find time for you, everyday!

Go with the flow of what seems natural, even if that means canceling a call to have fun with your kids

Stop what you’re doing when your husband walks in the door. I know how exciting and all encompassing other things can be, but try it. I promise it will do wonders!

Let go of the GUILT of trying to please everyone. I promise you can’t please everyone.

And most of all, have fun! “Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach

© 2004- 2007  Tara Paterson, All Rights Reserved

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