I giggled as I wrote that title. From the title, one could assume that I have figured out how to balance. This would be far from the truth. I am however, on the journey to figure out how.
I am the mom of three awesome kids (18, 9 and 7). My oldest is my heart daughter; I inherited her when I married her dad. However, she is mine just the same. My two youngest, who my husband and I lovingly call the “littles”, are a boy (9) and a girl (7). There is no question that these three have been my greatest teachers. (If you read my other blogs you will quickly learn my son has provided me with some big challenges in learning how to teach him. Find those here). They have definitely made me a better teacher, and I believe a better human. However, if you’re a mom you know it’s not all roses and rainbows. Parenting is hard and the balancing act of working and parenting feels, and is, extremely challenging.
This year I have found the balance especially hard. I find myself spending a ridiculous amount of time in my car, being a taxi driver to a growing number of activities. As well, I am acutely aware that not all other moms work outside the home. Whether I like to admit it or not, I inevitably spend time comparing myself to those that are with their kids all the time. Add social media to the mix and I have a growing reminder of everyone else’s highlight reels and my own lacking by comparison. So this year I’m working on balance. I’m working on celebrating the differences and awesomeness in the women in my life. The diversity of these women is vast, and worthy of celebration, whether it be my amazing friend who’s a stay at home mom of three in three years, and who honestly has the most generous heart of anyone I know, or my fabulous single girlfriend who is rocking her career and who’s amount of free time I’m envious of. But, mostly I’m working on celebrating my own strengths. I’m learning to be thankful for my consuming passion for literacy and teaching. I am learning to forgive myself when my work schedule means I can’t attend every field trip and every classroom play. There are days when I am going to feed my family breakfast for dinner, and that’s okay. My biggest awareness comes with giving myself permission to take time for myself. Which is especially hard when my guilt plays a roll. I often feel like every waking minute I’m not at work I should be with my kids to make up for the times I am away. However, for me to be an effective mom, I need to not only fill the people around me, I need to be filled myself. So I am learning that my morning runs are actually good for my kids because I get time to be a better me.
Balance is hard enough on its own without comparing myself to other people. So this year I am dedicated to drowning out the “shoulds” and the comparisons. I’m working to embrace the moments and be present whenever possible. This year I will boldly and confidently wear the title of “working mom”. I’m also going to celebrate the moms whose calling keeps them at home with their children. This is not because I HAVE to but because I CHOOSE to. Besides, finding balance is a lot more fun when you’re enjoying the ride!
– I’d love to hear your stories of how you’re finding balance in your life! –