Dear Coach Deborah,
I have a question (and concern) about balance. I’m not quite sure how others do it, but I am having a difficult time balancing it all. Work, family, kids, community work, aging parents and ME!
How do I give myself to all of these things (and some days more) without completely losing it?
Other moms I know seem to do it all with a smile and so joyfully. How is that possible?
There are days that I resent my family, but I love them with all my heart and would give my life for them.
Can you offer any advice on balancing it all?
Sincerely, An Out-of-Balance Mom
Hello Out of Balance Mom,
I’m so glad you reached out. The column is called “Balance Life,” so this couldn’t be any more appropriate. Thank you for sharing this struggle. You are not alone.
First, take a couple of deep breaths. Yes, right now.
Next, let’s talk about this thing called balance. Oftentimes we think it means equal, everything getting the same. However, balance is also a condition in which different elements are in the correct proportion to each other.
“You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep everyone else warm!”
So what’s the answer to, “Why can’t I do it all?” You weren’t meant to do it all and especially not at the same time. There are some moments that your home may need your time or attention. And yet others when one of your children may need your undivided attention. Where most of us struggle is allowing ourselves to be fully present in the one moment that needs us. We often feel guilty that we haven’t done this particular thing, or that the other thing is still not completed. And if we choose to sit and do nothing there can be a rising feeling of guilt.
Let me set the record straight: “You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep everyone else warm!” There, I said it and maybe you should say it out loud, too.
Each morning start with the one thing that must get done today.
It’s perfectly fine to have a to-do list of 10 things, but all 10 can’t be a priority. We’ve actually changed the definition of that word. Priority means “the” thing. But we’ve turned it into priorities and now we think everything has to be done because everything is a priority.
Hey Mom, YOU ARE THE PRIORITY! You have to be in a good place, mentally, emotionally and physically in order to be there for anyone else.
Give yourself a break, take a deep breath and know that you weren’t created to do it all.
Delegate, outsource and choose “the” thing. That’s how you begin to create balance.