Balance

Balance In All Things

Daddy writing a paper but keeping his girls close.

Daddy writing a paper but keeping his girls close.

With a full time career, journeying to entrepreneurship, being a mother of 2, and having a husband who is a full time law student, I often wonder how I haven’t gone mad. I believe this is a true testament to women's character in general. We wear so many hats, carry all our bags, and still wear our crowns gracefully. A title of a queen might not encompass all that we endure, because this here is no magic carpet ride. Maintaining some sort of household balance is key to keeping me sane. Household balance can hold true to single parents as well as those who are in committed relationships. My motto is “keeping balance in all things”.  Balance within ourselves, our families, our jobs, and whatever role you play. Balance is making sure you purposely plan to be present in all areas of your life. Have you ever been so overwhelmed at work you forget to work out, and then you felt awful? Or what about the moment you feel so terrible because you are dead tired and haven’t spent quality time with the kids? We all get those days. Days where we feel neglectful as a friend, parent, spouse, and most importantly to ourselves.   I am here to tell you that if you commit to being more balanced, than those days will be easier. This doesn’t mean that we never have crummy days, this means that you have decided to take control to create a better mental state to handle challenging days with a more balanced perspective.

3 ways you can start:

1. Self-care- Do things for yourself. Don’t feel bad for putting “you” first. If you aren’t the best you for yourself, there is no way you can be present for those around you. Self-care is about spending time to self-reflect, self-examine, and center yourself. This can be as simple as reading a chapter every night in that book you didn’t finish, exercising, taking yourself to see that movie you’ve been waiting to see, etc. If you truly don’t have the time to do any of that, spend time in meditation for the last 15mins before going to bed. This time is for you to be with yourself without guilt.

Create safe spaces for yourself. Wrap yourself in goodness and warmth and love. Stay surrounded by people who are genuine—think twice if you can’t trust them with your heart. You are allowed to protect your peace. Be mindful and aware of all energy that you allow into your life.
— Alex Elle

 

2. Plan out your days- I admit I suffer from self diagnosed OCD; I live by planners, planning, and hoping to stay on schedule. Planning your days could be making a day dedicated to family, cleaning, studying, dating, etc. Within my own family I have started traditions to make sure I am purposeful with having balance. My Friday is dedicated to my family, always. We usually eat out, or order in, and spend quality time with one another. Sunday is our cleanup day. Everyone in the family is required to clean up a space, and put our home back in order for the next week. I plan a date night each month with my husband to allow for us to reconnect on a more intimate level. I also schedule time before picking up my children to call at least one friend to check up on them. Planning your day is about creating a time for you to be present in all areas of your life so you aren’t overwhelmed all at once. As adults we often forget some of the little things. Just like children, once we can create routines to our lives, they suddenly become habits. No more feeling guilty about what you forgot, only relief that you got it done. My advice is to use some sort of calendar, planner, and reminder system in your phone. Literally book yourself for things. Don’t overbook, look at those moments of free time, and place some of the items you have neglected. Post them up, to remind yourself to get it done. The hardest part is just doing it. Be committed to being balanced for mental freedom.

3. Use your support- You are better with the people around you. You can get further with your goals when you have healthy adults who understand your mission. It takes a village. In no way I own my accomplishments alone. Build your team, by finding those who want the best for you. The first step of support is always family. My mother is my life line, without her some of the areas I need to be present for they would be neglected. I know several people I have encountered who state they have no support. I always advise them to find support.  This is another area you have to be creative and intentional. Join groups on Facebook, a reading club, connect with parents in your child’s classroom. The person you talk to at work, go out for happy hour. If you go to church, join bible study, or programming. You have to find people, and create relationships. The point is to get to know people to help you, help YOU. We are humans, it’s necessary for us to me intermingled. That’s how we thrive, and become more powerful. I like to use my village to give me breaks, help me when I am sick, or to tag in when I have completely checked out.

My husband and I have a tight system and team. We have been together for 10 years, and we can literally tell when one of us is out of balance. I am so blessed to have a team mate who is just as committed to the productivity of our family as I am. Here he is, 2nd year of law school, he still cooks 4 times a week, places kisses nightly on the girls, spends every Friday with us, and creates free time purposely to make sure he is present. He is the real MVP! And as his wife I make sure he has moments for himself, to perfect his craft and re-center his drive.

I have to say household balance is the engine to my family. I have realized when I neglect one thing; it often has a domino effect on other areas of my life, and in return makes me feel awful. Provide balance and a system to your family that works for you. Allow this balance to provide you mental freedom. In a world where we are often over-consumed in things that don’t provide us with full satisfaction, create your own by creating balance. 

No Perfect Parent Allowed.

Who wants the perfect parent anyway...cliche...cliche...cliche....

No greater challenge then the art of parenthood. Who has the secret formula? I need it all! But seriously shit gets tough. Even with all the skills I have obtained through my career, I still find myself lost, frustrated, and often times overwhelmed. Today was one of those days. God has a funny way of reminding me that it is not my education that allows me to raise my children, it is those organic moments that gives me the ability to master the craft.

There are times I find myself wanting to be isolated or run away from the responsibility of it all. The humanness of those thoughts keep me grounded. Raising "people" is one of the most demanding, sacrificial roles you will ever play. The great thing is that you have a million times to try to get it right. 

Testimony:

My oldest daughter Kennedy, 8, is at a milestone in life where she wants to mark her independence. I believe this has everything to do with her starting puberty. She can be emotional, needy, and mouthy all in the same breathe. Her good days outweigh her bad, but her bad can feel overwhelming. Today was not the day. I had a long day in the community, driving from one end of the town to the other, working with families that everyone else has failed to help. When arriving home I noticed that on a math test she put in minimum effort. I know this because I know my child and she is a math genius. When questioning her I could already tell the evening was not going to go well. She felt attacked, and maybe that was warranted, but it set the tone for the rest of the day. Later in the evening I noticed she was not taking care of her skin as need be, she has really bad eczema, and a very strict skin routine. I immediately questioned her. All her guards went up, and as she began to cry, she states "you don't care about me". That statement triggered me. I was so upset that she would say such a false statement when I just spent my entire day, my entire life, dedicated to making sure she knew how much I cared. I got argumentative and punished her. At that point her father stepped in because he is often the level headed one, and tagged me out for a break.

I was so angry, how dare she say I don't care, I work my ass off, right? I resented her in that moment. Shout out to all my single mothers/fathers who can't tag a partner to step in, you are amazing. When my husband checked in, I begin to check out. During my check out I started to self reflect. Self reflection is key when parenting because it brings you to a conscious level of parenting. I had the ability to recognize my part in it all. Was she a easy target for my bad day? How could I have approached her to get my point across in a more sensitive manner? Does she really believe I don't care, or is she a 8 year old whose reactions can be irrational? All these questions placed me back to when I was her age, and would fight back, only to realize it was at those moments I just wanted more love.

After she sat with her father, and I had some special playtime with Karter, I knew we both needed each other. She got ready for bed, I went into her room and asked if she would sit on my lap. I first begin by apologizing. This can be hard for parents, because we always feel like we are right. But to model forgiveness for our children is so empowering it's necessary. I begin to tell her the errors in my ways as well as hers. I wanted her to know that we were both flawed, equally. I never want my daughter to feel she has to be perfect or that her mommy is perfect, but I want her to know that she has to try her best. No one can argue with best. I also wanted for her to understand the difference between caring, and challenging her to be/do better. It is my job as her mother to want the best for her physically, mentally, and emotionally. Challenging her is not fighting with her, it's simply knowing as her mother her potential. We ended with a long tight hug, lots of affirmations, and encouraging one another. I will always be her mother, she will always have the role of my daughter, perfect never, growing always.

It is okay if they fall, binge on TV, have a piece of candy or three, eat fries at McDonalds, so on and so forth. It's about creating a balance. Life is surrounded by mistakes, it's the pedestal of growth. We have to allow our children to see us at those vulnerable moments, because perfection is not the goal, getting back up is. 

The act of parenting isn’t about creating the perfect child or being the perfect parent. It’s the effort that goes towards figuring it out that makes you great.
— Mommy Wells
Not looking for perfection, my heart is mounted on top of love.   -Mommy Wells

Not looking for perfection, my heart is mounted on top of love.   -Mommy Wells