As a mom, have you ever had a time when your life seemed completely upside down and unbalanced? Despite your best intentions of wanting to meet all the deadlines, lend an listening ear and spend some time playing with your kids, the sands of time quickly slipped quickly through your fingers and you just couldn’t fit everything in. As a working mom, this was me last week as I attempted to cram everything in before I left for a conference. In the end, it left me feeling frustrated and yearning for a sense of balance.
Here are 6 things every mom needs to regain balance those unbalanced times in our life.
1. A healthy understanding of balance
Mothers do not need to go very far to find the word balance in tandem with motherhood. Most magazines and parenting books will spell out the need for balance for healthy moms. And professionally speaking, I agree balance can bring us happiness, less stress and even more productivity. However, on a practical level as a mom I wonder if we need a better understanding of balance. One that identifies the ebb and flows consistent with motherhood and that is attainable. Balance is a great ideal and goal that we may come closer to than others in the seesaw world of motherhood. Yet, it can be equally satisfying if we allow ourselves to be at the “good enough” marker on the Balance Scale.
2. A sense of humor
Perhaps the greatest gift we can offer to others and ourselves is to have a sense of humor; especially when it comes to our own mistakes. Being able to find the humor in life can serve as a “get out of jail free card” for us by letting us off the hook for any unrealistic expectations we have of ourselves. It is easier to regain a sense of balance if we embrace the silliness of behaviors rather than getting stuck in judging ourselves.
3. Brave enough to admit your failures
As moms, we are all driven to do what is right for our families and on most days we actually win the prize. But, there are days we don’t and our errors hurt others. We can either become reactive by choosing to place blame and get lost in being defensive. Or, we can become proactive by honestly owning our faults and make amends to repair those relationships. One of the best ways to regain balance is to bravely admit our mistakes and allow ourselves to learn from them.
4. Healthy friendships
For many mothers healthy friendships can be hard to find. Parenting is a stressful endeavor that can be difficult if we go it alone. Healthy friends are those special people in our lives that are supportive of our passions and we can trust with our fears, struggles and mistakes. They are those special few that are emotionally safe enough to hold us accountable to our goals and dreams so that we can succeed in life. They identify with our concerns and offer flexibility rather than shame. Personally, I am so grateful for those special friends in my life that offered flexibility rather than shame this past week when my life seemed insane.
5. Realistic goals and objectives
An unbalanced life usually consists of unrealistic goals and expectations or the desire to do or be everything to everyone. Regaining balance is about discarding those unrealistic goals and replacing them with realistic ones. If we cannot achieve them, then goals are meaningless and we set ourselves up to fail. Identify the priorities and give yourself the freedom to get rid of the rest. My pitfall was having too many goals without prioritizing them and being disorganized.
6. Don’t give up.
The secret to regaining balance to an unbalanced life is to keep trying. Even if we can never maintain balance all the time, by continuing to try we learn from our mistakes so that is becomes more familiar and easier to reach. The only thing we succeed at by giving up is failure.