I’ve been thinking about balance lately. I’m going to be talking about balance at the next meeting of the Vancouver Attachment Parenting International group this Saturday. And so I’ve been clarifying my thoughts on what balance is, how you seek it, and how you know if you’ve found it.
I’ve heard the sentiment that balance isn’t possible, especially for a mother of young children. I understand why someone would say that. There is always something that needs our attention, there is never enough time or emotional energy, and just when we think we’ve got things figured out, they change. When you have kids, you’re subject to a constant stream of curve balls. I often feel that I’m spending my days running to catch up, and never quite getting there.
But. But. I don’t think this means that we should just throw our hands up in the air and give up on any idea of balance. Although I do think we should have a better word than balance. Balance has become a little too loaded, a little too cliché. Perhaps equilibrium would be better. Or even manageability. I am seeking manageability. That sounds like something I could almost find!
Whatever you call it, I think that there are three things you need to achieve balance / equilibrium / manageability:
- Timing. There are certain times when your life is going to be out of balance. When you have a newborn. When your partner experiences a serious health concern. When you move halfway across the country. When you start a new business. You’ll find it again, but when you’re in the midst of a big life change, you can cut yourself some slack if your life is unmanageable, knowing that it won’t last forever.
- Priorities. When you have little kids, you don’t have much (or maybe even any) free time. There are lots of things constantly clamouring for your attention. So knowing what matters most to you is key when you’re seeking equilibrium. It helps you to decide how to use your very precious resources, so that you can live with intention and do the things that matter most to you, whether that’s taking your kids to the park, writing your novel or just taking a shower.
- Support. No one can do it all, and certainly not all at once. Finding a supportive community can be a big help to anyone, but I feel it’s especially true when you have little kids. That community can come in the form of your partner, your family, your friends, your neighbours, or even the people you hire to help you out. Whether you need someone else to hold the baby for 10 minutes so that you can shower, or you just need a friendly ear, having people in your corner makes life much more manageable.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. Like everyone else, I have days when I can’t even find the time to eat a hot meal. But I persist in my quest for manageability. Because this is my life that I’m living here, and I deserve to play a part in it.
What about you? What is your definition of balance? And do you like the word balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
PS – If you’re on my email list you can register for the course starting this Saturday, December 18 for $97, which is $20 less than the already-discounted early bird price! So, if you haven’t already, sign up for the list up there on the right.