I just had this amazing conversation with virtual friend and fitness coach, Laura Waller about fitting fitness into your #MomLife. (Stay tuned for the interview, which will be shared for a special edition of tomorrow’s #TIRL Thursday!) But something came up in our interview that really had me thinking about this idea of balance for moms, because I know it’s something that we ALL crave as human beings.
The word balance is a bit of a trigger for me because I think what it actually IS and what it SOUNDS LIKE are two different things. Laura and I talked about how life with kids is constantly changing because kids are constantly GROWING into different creatures with different sleeping, eating and behavior patterns, and I know as a new mom I fought against that HARD. I wanted a SCHEDULE. I wanted to know what to expect so I could plan around it and create my own sense of “balance.”
But that is not what I was actually trying to create in my life. I wanted CONTROL—over my life and schedule and to-do list and social calendar, and I think as mamas we accidentally associate this control with BALANCE. And when you are trying so hard to swim upriver (metaphorically) in a new world where it feels like floating downstream would mean relinquishing some control and parts of our pre-baby identities, we get frustrated with the process. But the irony is that floating downstream (away from control and “Balance”) is where we find PEACE in our new roles as mothers.
Accepting that life with children is ever evolving is the only real ticket to the freedom we seek. Changing our mindsets from “control” to acceptance is a guaranteed path to becoming shiny, happy humans. I know because I made the internal shift for myself. And DON’T YOU WORRY—I’m still QUITE the control freak.
So now that we’ve cleared up the difference between a parent’s natural desire for order and control and consistency, let’s move onto what I believe balance to actually BE.
Here’s an excerpt that I shared with my soul tribe via my email newsletter this week. It showcases the past week of my life. As you can see, it was all over the place.
- The hubs and I planned an impromptu ADVENTURE to California (with potty-training toddler) for 2 weeks from now. Keep up with us as we explore Yosemite, Big Sur, Monterey Aquarium and San Fran via Instagram before I head on solo to Sonoma for some preggo entrepreneur sisterhood and my last Boss Society retreat!
- Aria caught the pink eye stink eye and then gave it to me (just don’t. please.).
- We moved all the furniture around in our home to make room for Baby Squishy. I write to you from my NEW home office conveniently—or dangerously—located directly next to my bed!
- More potty training. More poop accidents. Some huge successes (staying dry through the night!) Huge shout out to Jessica Bentson of The Potty Training Revolution for being my on-call counselor. This is a “thing” for us. I know it’s ridiculous AND thank you, but no I would not like your advice (read: opinion). I got me a guru. 😉
- And, of course, I had like 3 hormonal pregnant meltdowns and just needed some extra self-care. And as you know, when mama needs self-care, mama TAKES IT.
You know what all that stuff equals when you put it together? A balanced week!
Balance as a mother means floating downstream and accepting that you may never have the same day twice. Or you may! But that’s only taking your family into consideration. The thing I find too many mothers don’t integrate into their plan for balance is that WE (women) don’t feel the same every day either after having kids! Take my 3 hormonal meltdowns this past week—I’m not going to get into judging that as normal or not normal because it really doesn’t matter. It’s what happened, and it’s what happens in REAL LIFE when you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have crazy kids running around. And YOU deserve to do your own Mind Body Soul check-in every morning to see what YOU need that day and do whatever you can to give it to yourself. All the while having the mindset that it doesn’t have to be the same routine as yesterday and you don’t need to control your toddler’s poop schedule to GIFT THAT REDEFINED IDEA OF BALANCE TO YOURSELF.
Balance is available to all of us, but let’s stop confusing it with a routine or a clean house or an obedient child or a perfect husband. The buck stops here. I’m responsible for my own balance, and I consider that an opportunity to work on myself every single day and make sure I’m always doing what I can to keep the ship afloat (that’s ME), as well as the passengers onboard (that’s my people).
By the way, if you haven’t joined my people, we are over in the free Mommy Soul Tribe Facebook group talking about our beautifully messy mommy moments and we’d love to meet you. If you’re human, you’ll like it there.