Yes, all three of these things are full-time jobs, but they are far from my only roles. Realistically, those are only 3 of my 10-20 jobs I fulfill every single day. I KNOW I’m not the only one who wears 1,000 hats everyday and somehow manages to stay sane. (I’ll be the first to say, some days I’m NOT sane).
You may have 2-3 main roles that identify you, but in reality, we have a gazillion people we need to be just to make the world go ‘round. I mean…how many of you reading this are moms? If you are (or even if you aren’t, you’ve most likely been around kids so you can hopefully get this), you know that being a MOM is more than just a full-time job. It’s an around the clock job, and it’s one that demands every last bit of energy, patience, and multi-tasking that we can muster up.
Moms—we are AWESOME. Virtual high fives to anyone and everyone who keeps kids alive, fed, and (mostly) happy…all in a days’ work. Some days, we overachieve and actually feel like we deserve a pat on the back. Other days, we are thankful there are no secret surveillance cameras in our homes to document our downright AWFUL parenting moments.
And please tell me I’m not the only one who starts sweating at the thought of secret cameras in my house. But this begs the question I get asked ALL too often: How on EARTH do you balance family, work, and your own fitness?
Here’s the truth: Sometimes I don’t. Plain and simple. Sometimes I SUCK at balance, the same way you might feel you do. While my “balance” has improved much over the years and I have days I feel like I am “killing life” (in a good way), there are many times I don’t “do life” as well as I wish I did. It destroys me when I lay in bed at night and think of the many ways I may have let my family down, or mis-prioritized something that needed more attention. BUT…I’ve come to accept that I will NEVER balance life perfectly. I give myself grace and remind myself how I can do better the next day.
We are all human. Yes, I am too. I struggle and cry over spilled milk. I get caught in my own head occasionally—most often after too much time spent on social media looking at every other woman’s seemingly perfectly balanced life.
If you can always remember these THREE things, you can say goodbye to emotional struggle and hello to more joy:
- Stop comparing: When we compare our reality with another woman’s highlight reel on social media, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and self-deprication. We will NEVER live up to that illusion we see so many people creating from their false “Happily Ever Afters.” And that’s not to say life isn’t beautiful for some, but behind every seemingly-perfect Instagram account is a whole load of baggage and struggle in that individual’s life. MYSELF INCLUDED!!!! If we only knew what the most put together Instagram mommy was dealing with, we would no doubt happily stay in our shoes… with our struggles… and our successes. And PS: Please keep in mind that EVERY SINGLE PIC in this post is the product of a professional photo shoot. Meaning we had someone styling and dressing us, doing our hair and make up, and then most likely touching it up in Photoshop to make it look better than in actuality. Truth! So don’t get discouraged…my everyday real life doesn’t look even close to this!!
- Discover your gifts: What is it that YOU love to do and excel at? Again, the trouble with social media is that you are not only looking at ONE person’s highlight reel, but the BEST talents and gifts of every person you follow any time you sit down and flip through your phone. Say you follow 100 people. You are seeing 100 different talents, 100 different skills, 100 different husbands, and 100 different levels of success. We have to remember that these are each ONE person and you are just ONE person. Try to focus in on the positives in your life and on your blessings and the things that bring you joy and stay focused on those things…not what you wish you had or what you think you need to be happy.
- Use your gifts to serve others: This is the most profound of all. If you seek to be served by others, you will always be disappointed. If you seek to SERVE others, you will always be fulfilled. Take your focus off of yourself and use your time and talents to serve and care for those around you.
Are you with me? Let’s cut ourselves some slack and realize we will most likely NEVER find that so-called “perfect balance” that we all dream about, so simply do your best to prioritize tasks without elevating this idealistic status. Maybe your goal for the day is to occupy your kids with crafts for an hour while you work out without interruption. Maybe it’s making 3-5 square meals a day with organic fruits and veggies picked straight from your backyard garden. It could even be carefully crafting Pinterest-worthy treats for your kids’ lunches that you will later post on Pinterest because you are that good at balancing time! And if you’re anything like me, your goal is just to make it through the day with minimal breakdowns (from the kids AND myself).
But just remember that you cannot do EVERYTHING. For this reason alone, “balance” is your own to find. It’s an art, not a science.