Why your life will never be balanced
The balancing act of parenting are favorite topics for magazine and talk show hosts. They tell you to adopt just 5 simple habits and your life will be more balanced. They surround the balance talk with power of positive thinking and “you are worth it” chants. Don’t get taken in.
Consider this. Life is never stagnant long enough to maintain balance. I’ve only been alive for 36 years and my life seasons constantly change. When my first child was born, I had two needs. Sleep and to care for a new life. I felt like a cow. Showers were huge accomplishments. I was lonely and lost in the transition from work with hourly social interactions to this quiet house with me and a baby who couldn’t communicate. But I was focused on my family and our schedule wasn’t overbooked.
By 18-months, Bird and had found a groove. Scheduled play dates and story times created regular adult conversation. Predictable nap times made house duties and meal planning easier. Then Bug came. I felt guilty about not giving both girls equal amounts of attention. Our scheduled habits were no longer practical. Rare me-time was spent in 20 minute hot baths or napping. But I could balance both girls on my lap for snuggles.
Moving to Montana when Bug was 9 months left me with nothing to balance. I knew no one. Had no place to go. My husband was consumed with grad school. I sat in my tiny house, with two toddlers feeling my mind deteriorate with each singing of the alphabet. I didn’t want me time; I wanted friend time. But the house was small and the grocery store awesome. I could keep the house relatively clean, read books of my own choosing, and make healthy eating choices for my whole family.
And then one day, four years later, the house was quiet. They were both in school. I didn’t know how to be a mom to kids who weren’t home. I didn’t know how to spend my time or if it was even okay to not work if the kids weren’t home. I had to rediscover my own interests after years of pouring into those little souls. And suddenly we became that overbooksed family. But I could have quiet times with God and exercise more.
Each life stage has its own joys and issues to balance. I wish to live a life where time in the Word and prayer, exercise, healthy eating, and time for me are part of the equation. I want to share with you tips to make it all work. But I don’t think it will. Motherhood is an imbalanced business. Some seasons are more slanted than others. Those healthful habits that comprise the balance conversation are excellent pursuits. Rejoice in the moments when there is balance, knowing that the season will change and the acts you have to balance will differ. Give yourself grace because in some season, you might balance five things but in others, three will be stretching your skills to the max.
Imbalance keeps us turned to God. It reminds us we can’t do it all. It forces us to keep being students and sometimes we remember that the best teacher is the Lord. He is the one who will fill us when we have poured ourselves into our family. He is the one who numbers our days. He never tells us to look after ourselves, rather he tells us to lose our life (Matt 16:25). He never promises a neat, healthy life. But He does promise joy and comfort without measure in the life to come.
Moms, seek balance but only by seeking the Lord. Faith in him is the only way to live productively as we wait for our true home.
Joining Jill Savage and others in the Hearts at Home blog hop today. Visit other sweet bloggers to get more encouragement.