Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How do you balance it all?

Balance. It's a touchy word. Not touchy in that it's difficult to define but touchy in that it's incredibly elusive. For a minute or maybe two you feel like you've found it, you've reached that place where things come together and you're doing it, perhaps really rocking it out. And then poof! It's gone again.

It's on her mind. I bet it's on yours too. We all strive for some sort of balance in our lives as parents, as employees, as friends, as children, as productive members of our society. Yet I know I feel like I don't give 100% to anyone or anything. Like K, I spend some (ok, a lot) of my work day accomplishing tasks that fall outside of work...I schedule doctor appointments, research new recipes, make grocery lists, write blog posts (ahem), read up on random weird toddler behaviors, and manage our calendar. I also do my work-work. When I'm home I am attending to a child, making dinner, answering emails, answering the phone, returning calls, walking the dog, cleaning up after the child and dog (and husband), sorting laundry, doing laundry, folding laundry, putting away laundry (sense a theme?), all the while trying to sneak in as much quality time with my son as I can in three short hours a day. Oh and my husband too. He deserves a little attention from time to time.

No one person or task gets 100% of my attention and time. It frustrates me because I know I could do better. I could be more productive with my time. I could focus more on my daily work at my job and put aside all the "home" tasks during the day. I could not care so much about the state of my house or if the laundry is all done every week. I could ignore the pile of dry cleaning for a while longer or say OK to boxed mac and cheese for dinner a little more often. Most importantly, I could play with my son rather than stew over the dirty dishes in the sink or the bill that needs to be paid.

I know there isn't an answer, or at least not a perfect one. Most people just try to get through each day with their heads still screwed on and so many of us fall into bed each night wondering how we can do it all again tomorrow. But we do. We do it because that's life. And we keep seeking the magic formula and the perfect alignment of the stars that will keep it all together.

I don't mean this to be a complaint because I know we're all there, we all feel it and understand it. So let's celebrate the fact that we all made it through today...GOOD JOB, YOU! Treat yourself to something nice tomorrow, even if it's only a pumpkin spice latte at 2 pm (don't mind if I do). You deserve it.


MadameQueen said...

This could not be more timely for me right now. I really feel like I'm struggling these days finding the balance. Right now I feel like we're all suffering a little bit and that we should let something go, but I'm not sure what that something would be.

Is it okay if I treat myself to a pumpkin spice latte at 8:30 instead of 2:30?

Anonymous said...

I am definitely struggling with this lately. I don't have a magic answer, only to plug along and do the best I can. Some days I am more successful than others, but I try to remember that it is a luxurious problem to have.

Erica said...

Yes! Another mom friend and me were just talking about this. How do you recalibrate - find this balance? I think treating yourself to a pumpkin spice latte is getting part of the way there, I just did so this morning. It's so hard when you have a small fry that demands so much attention. But it's helpful to know that so many other moms are going through the same thing.
Looking forward to meeting you in Chicago!

bessie.viola said...

I love this post SO HARD right now. I have been struggling big-time balancing 40 hours of work, 14college credits, and my family. Oh, and cleaning/cooking/etc.

I've been struggling, and then feeling bad because it's such a first-world problem, isn't it? And yet it seems to suck a lot of joy out of the things I *should* be loving.

Anyway... I hear you, I really do.

Paige said...

First of all - pumpkin spice latte...mmmmmm. Yes, please.

Secondly, laundry is the root of all evil. I loathe it. Fortunately, in our division of labor, laundry has largely fallen on my husband's list of responsibilities even before the Roo arrived. This is only because early in our relationship he realized that if left to my own devices, I will shrink all of his shirts and turn all of his socks pink, and apparently that's frowned upon. So I have been labeled a problem child and given a pass in the laundry department.

Thirdly, I have been vexing about this same issue lately, and have yet to come up with a solution aside from the aforementioned latte, cupcake and cookie treats (sometimes a latte alone just doesn't do the trick, youknowwhatI'msayin'??).