I can't tell you how many times I've read blogs or articles about home, family, motherhood, health, or work and come away feeling guilty. You know the type - "You can be a mom who leads a major company, volunteers with the PTA, sends hand-made invitations for parties, and trains for marathons - it's easy!" (It makes me think of the new Five Hour Energy commercials, where the guy is knitting a sweater while running just before he writes a novel and records his debut album.) I know these writers are trying to encourage women, but honestly, I usually come away feeling like a failure. After all, I'm not Supermom or Wonder Woman, although sometimes I think I'm trying to get there.
Let's face it: After a long day at work and school, I often come home exhausted, frustrated, and just ready to put my feet up for a while. But my family wants to eat, my kids need help with their homework, the house needs to be cleaned, and the laundry won't do itself - mot to mention the fact that I still need to work out and write. So how do you do it? How do you find balance? How you juggle family, home, work, exercise, errands, kids activities, and the thousand other things a mom has to balance?
I'm learning that balance doesn't equal perfect. Balance doesn't mean that every day is perfectly proportioned. Each day looks different, with its own rhythm and flow. Some days I might write 2,000 words when inspiration strikes, but skip my workout because I don't feel good. Other days I might get in a great run, but never open my laptop. Some days the laundry gets done...okay, so that usually happens when everyone is down to their last clean pair of underwear, but that's beside the point.
I'm trying to strike more of a weekly balance in my life right now. I have a loose daily schedule that I'm trying to stick to for housework, exercise, quiet time, writing, and studying. Some days it all gets done. Some days nothing gets done. I'm also making slow changes to my diet as I work toward a healthier lifestyle. It's a learning curve, and a pretty big one. The key is giving myself grace. There's no such thing as perfect - but being imperfect shouldn't keep me from being better. Each day, I'm going to strive to do a little better than the day before. When things don't go as planned, I'm going to brush myself off and try again. Week by week, with gradual changes, I know I'll see improvement. That's my goal. My life and my schedule will never be perfect, but they can be better.