Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Balancing Act

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A fave quote of mine: “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”
                                                                                       -Lucille Ball


When I was in college, my scholarship required me to be  full-time student but  I also worked a full-time job and a couple times, when opportunity struck, I worked a part-time job, too. I was exhausted and would scrape the sides of my bowl to find enough hours in the day to balance out my school life, job(s), social life, family life and my relationship with my then boyfriend (my current hubby).

Oh, and I had to squeeze in studying and homework which I did at work during down time, in between classes at school and yes, sometimes pulled all-nighters when a paper was due or for an exam the next day. At the time, I thought it was tough.

Boy, was I wrong.  I had no idea what exhaustion was then. I had no idea that kids could suck up every ounce of energy right out of you the way they do when they stick the straw in a juice pouch and deflate it!   Now, instead of just scraping my bowl in hopes of finding more hours, I feel like I need to scrape other people’s bowls, too. So, if you have some time to spare, pass me that bowl!

I’m applying many changes to my life now so I need to create a new balancing act

Being a parent and juggling kids on top of a marriage, keeping up with my kids’ activities, my social life and working on my own projects including pursuing my writing career while running on an average of 5-6 hours of sleep is much more of a balancing act then those hectic days back in college…It’s more like a suicide mission!

Being a stay-at-home parent isn’t all fun and games. I rarely get to sit or relax, heck, attempting to use the bathroom for five minutes is a lot to ask! Kids have loads of energy and their minds are impressionable so I have to find ways to keep them entertained and active, doing things that don’t fry their brains (or mine).

Like many parents, I put myself last, my needs are on the back burner and like many couples with young kids, our needs and time together as partners are also sacrificed. I began sacrificing more time with my spouse and my health (even less sleep), to work on my writing and other projects instead of cutting time away from my kids and because it's a big distraction when I try to work with them around!

 
View of Downtown Jacksonville, where I worked before having children...Sometimes, I would rather be back to working outside of the home but I'm doing what's best for my family right now.



It’s an on-going goal of mine to find the right mix that will work for us. Sometimes, I have to change it up a bit when circumstances change (like when Brody starts school again). It’s always a work-in-progress because there are other things that get thrown in the bag like potty-training my youngest. I’m sure I will be working on that task for the next several months.

I think it’s easier to hold it all together if you are not trying to weave in working at home while parenting the way I am. My desire to be “a jack of all trades” may be my down fall in this “balancing act” of Mom Life and so when the days are tougher than usual, the grass looks greener on the other side. There are days when I crave to return to the regular structure of the workforce outside of home, mainly to have that separation between my home life and outside life.  Also, distractions from toddlers make it nearly impossible to get work done!  It’s difficult to separate work from home when your work is at home.  


In the article, Working from home: How moms can focus, it states, Most working mothers say that they continually work to better balance their career and family.  But for moms who telecommute or freelance from home, that balance can seem particularly elusive."  (Moneywathc, 2013).

Yep, the grass can look greener on the other side and I’m sure that goes both ways; moms who work outside of the home may think it's easier to work while staying at home.  In reality, no matter where you work, parenting is a BIG task (and actual work!) so adjusting and being flexible is key. 

My son assured me I’m on the right track with this whole balancing act when he recently said, “Mom, you’re the bestest mom because you make apple pie and you’re the most beautifullest wife. I think I need to play Mario now.”

Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

 

Is the grass really greener on the other side? Do you wish you could return to work if you’re a
stay-at-home parent? How do you balance out all the areas of your life?

No matter how hard, raising kids can be while trying to pursue my other goals, I remind myself that children are blessings and any time us parents spend with them is a gift whether we see them all day or just to tuck them in at night.

Take care, until next time…

-B

 

Marriage is one thing we’re taking a more proactive stance on now to help keep our lives balanced. Check out these posts/articles of mine that are helping us to improve and balance out our marriage while raising our family. I’m not an expert or a counselor for marriage but they may help:

Married Life

Words of Wisdom for Married Couples

Creative Things to do with Your Partner to Keep Your Relationship/Marriage Interesting

Also, some help for Stay-at-Home-Parents


Speaking of green grass, take a moment to visit these gardens where ALL sides are a luscious green:
 
A Walk Through Jacksonville's Cummer Gardens

Looking for some activities/ events in and around Jax? Here’s some ideas:     
  • Aug. 3rd: Kidgits Club Back-to-School Event from 2-4 PM. Go here for info.
  • Aug. 6th: National Night Out at the Beach 6-9 PM. There will be crime prevention awareness, child safety education info, raffles and more. Admission is free. Go here for info.
  • Don't forget it's tax-free weekend Aug. 2nd-4th