Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Balance. That magic word that we moms tend to search or strive for on an almost daily basis. How do we balance our families, jobs, and hobbies or interests that allow us to still be ourselves? Is it even possible? I'm pretty sure I've read way too many magazine articles, newspaper articles, books, and blog posts suggesting ways to achieve that balance I often crave so much. And yet I still feel completely unbalanced and out of control. Is it because there's no such thing as balance? Or is it because I'm just terrible at balancing my life?

Honestly, I don't know. What I do know is that I probably won't ever achieve a perfect level of balance in my life. I'm someone who likes to compartmentalize things, including the different areas of my life. I thrive when my life is structured and predictable. Unfortunately, I'm at a point in my life where my job and children prevent that structure and predictability that I want (and maybe need) so badly.

So, what am I working with?

1. My family. I'm happily married with two little girls, ages two and (almost) 2 months. They are my world. Perhaps it came with motherhood, but I've found myself dreaming of being a stay-at-home mom and being able to spend more time cleaning, cooking, and doting on my littles. My reality is that I struggle to keep up with the housework and cannot cook a decent meal to save my life. My poor husband has had to lower his standards when it comes to the quality and taste of food, and I love him for that. My time with my girls will often be cut short thanks to my job, which you'll read more about next.

2. My job. I work full-time as a therapist with children in foster care. My schedule has me working most evenings during the week thanks to needing to see my clients after school hours. Most of my foster homes where I see clients are about an hour from my home, which means a lot of travel time for me. The job also seems to require more than 40 hours most weeks. It's not unusual to have crises or important meetings pop up for my clients, and then I don't have much choice but to carve them into my schedule. Working evenings often leaves me getting home around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., which limits my time with my family. My older daughter is now at an age where she realizes I'm not home a lot, and her behaviors show that she misses me. She often refuses to go to bed when I get home late and can be clingy on days when I'm home.

3. My part-time Avon business. I joined Avon two years ago to make some extra money. In that time, I've been able to use my Avon earnings to buy things for my daughter and have a little extra spending money for myself. My business isn't as big as I'd like it to be yet, but that's my own fault. In the last two years, I haven't been putting much time into my business, but I'm changing that. I have goals to reach with my sales and team, and I'm going to work it like the business that it is.

4. Me. I'm a hot mess. For real. There are many days when I have to question how I even managed to get myself out the door. I consider myself to be pretty smart, but there seems to be a large deficit when it comes to common sense. Some of my bigger flaws that I'm constantly struggling with are insecurities, laziness, and a short attention span. I rarely ever finish anything, except baked goods and books. Anxiety has become a close friend of mine over the years as I've constantly worried that I'm not good at (insert anything here.)

After much reading, thinking, and freaking out, I've come to the conclusion that what I need is to simplify my life. I need to cut out the unnecessary. Give up what is bad for me. Focus on what is most important. Give my life some sort of routine. This blog will be like a journal for me while I do that. I don't know that people will read it, but that's okay. If they do, they'll be able to follow along with me as I try to simplify my life and focus on the most important things, which is something that I think quite a few people can relate to.