Finding balance in your life is hard, but together we can make it easier. Sometimes, just the act of thinking about all the things you juggle in your life can bring you enough perspective to initiate positive change.
Recently there was an article in Today’s Parent Magazine called the Crock of Work Life Balance. Everyone is always talking about finding and maintaining a work-life balance. The thesis of the article was that there is no such thing for us parents because the work-life balance equation is missing something…you guessed it. Your kids. So while the average person struggles to balance their work and their personal lives, us parents are struggling to balance our roles as parents with our roles as workers and our personal lives (by personal I mean your relationship/marriage, hobbies, activities, friends etc.)
To be honest, I didn’t really care much about the article, it was more the Facebook post that asked “do you think there is such a thing as work-life balance” that got my attention. Since most of the commenters had clearly not read the article, there were dozens of comments that were either yes or no. People mentioned living in the moment, multitasking, getting help, but most neglected to look at the bigger picture.
Maybe it’s because I am an outside the box type of person but right away my answer was non conformist. Without having read the article my gut response was already that it isn’t about finding work-life balance, it’s about finding balance. Period. It’s about living in the middle road, in everything thing you do. From your diet, to exercise, to shopping, to watching television. There has to be a balance to your life. Anything can be good in moderation or likewise, detrimental if you go overboard.
You can break down the aspects of your life into eight categories. Love, Fun, Family, Health, Money, Personal Growth, Productivity and Work. In my mind they are like balls I am juggling in the air. If you spend too much time looking at one ball, you will start to drop the others. Likewise, trying to keep them all going at the same time is extremely tricky. And, the way life seems to be, if to try too hard to keep them all perfectly floating in the air you will burn out and drop them all.
So how can us busy mother’s find balance in our lives?
Here is my suggestion for where to start.
Recently, I came across a website that is called Project Me for busy mothers. They have a tool on their site called the Life Wheel. So I downloaded it and completed my wheel. Basically it asks you questions about each of the categories in your life and then you score yourself. Then you connect all your scores to draw a circle. The shape of the circle that is produced lets you see visually exactly which areas of your life need more attention. Not only does this tool let you see where you are, but by completing one at intervals it will let you see how you have changed. I would highly recommend you give this tool a try, it only takes about 10 minutes to do, if that).
In my case the main areas I needed help on were:
- Personal Growth
These come as no surprise to me, although I really didn’t think I was dropping the health ball that badly. As you already know, working on myself has been my project since December so now with this perspective I am going to continue along my journey and I encourage you to take it with me. I have created a new category called Project Me, where you will be able to see all of the articles I have written/ will write on the topic.
Change doesn’t happen over night. It happens slowly and takes a lot of work, but of all the projects you will take on in your life, I think working on yourself is the most important one. Since you are at the heart of your life and that of your family if you can get find a balance, then everything else will start to fall in line.
At this point I would like to ask all my readers to share their tips below for how they find balance in their lives or what their challenges are to maintaining a balanced life. By sharing all our best practices we can all become better partners, parents, and people.