Inspired by the sermon we heard at church last Sunday night, I wanted to share for a few minutes on how I try to find balance in my life. If you wear more than one hat (I would say 99% of our population does) then I’m sure you are also walking (or trying to walk) in a life of balance. The Bible says to walk wisely (Eph 5:5)- I think being balanced with your time is part of walking in wisdom. Depending on the day I either do really well at being balanced with my time or I fail miserably!
My picture of balance has changed drastically since Ava joined our family! If you have children then you know what I’m talking about! It’s hard to tell a one year old that mumma needs to have a shower..and no, you cannot sit on the floor of the shower.. Or how about when you’re trying to hang a load of washing outside.. try telling your 14 month old that you cannot pick her up and hang washing at the same time.. I know! I’ve tried.. Thank heavens no one was filming me.. I would be a youtube sensation!
When you have children (whether you’re a mum or dad) you get lost in the whirlwind of raising those children! The bottles, nappies, wipes, schedules, potty training, puke and spit up.. fevers, food allergies, a new skill, walking, crawling, first words, bubble blowing (Check my Insta from last night!).. It’s an amazing whirlwind that sweeps you and your family unit up! We have loved every moment of it.. truly.. it has brought Greg and I closer as a couple and it has taught us how to love in such a deep way. You truly understand the love your parents have you when you have your own children, as cliche as that sounds..
Balance, when you become a parent, is about becoming flexible. It sounds contradictory right? I know.. but the more I thought about it, the more I noticed it was flexibility that was so closely tied with balance. Mum’s and Dad’s- when you put your little ones to bed, utilize that time. When Ava was younger I would collapse onto the bed and fall asleep (pure newborn exhaustion), but now that she is a lot older and her routine is very much established I have tried to seize that time until we go to bed. We’ll either hang out on the couch (just the two of us.. no little human taking our attention) or I’ll head out to Kmart to be able to just browse in silence.. or Greg may even do a late night dessert run which we can eat without the little human wanting some! haha… I have recently started working out one or two mornings a week- Greg runs a few days a week so we take turns being with Ava in the morning until the other person gets home.
Being balanced is about setting time aside for your partner, for your children and for yourself. We often hear the joke of ‘happy wife, happy life’ and while a lot of people use that in marriage speeches, it can definitely be applied to general life. If I am happy as a woman/mother/wife then my life will be happy. Balance isn’t about deadlines or rigid boxes that everything in life must fit in to it’s about being flexible and enjoying every moment (even those stressful hair pulling moments)!
A few practical tips for being balanced that I try and follow:
- I do not turn my work laptop on at home and
- I do not check my work emails at home
When I leave the office I am off the clock. It’s a boundary that I have tried to stick to. When I am home my family deserve my undivided attention.
- I try not to be away from home during weeknights.
During the work week our nights are valuable. We cherish the time we can unwind with each other.
- We guard and protect our Saturdays (or weekends)
It is so so easy for us to be occupied every Saturday. We have events on for church many Saturdays during the year, we also have birthdays and functions and baby showers- all of which are fun and necessary.. but know when to say no. I have a quote on the wall in our house which says “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
If you’re struggling to find balance make a list of all the tasks you have to do week to week or even day to day then try and put them in order of priority. What are some of the things you have to get done- i.e. Monday’s I have to grocery shop, Tuesdays-Thursdays I have to go to work.. With the remaining hours of the day where are periods of time that you can spend time with the kids, or maybe take an uninterrupted shower or go for a run? Don’t be afraid to ask that girlfriend to watch your kids for an hour or two. It won’t always happen and more often than not you may wonder where the time went but it’s about trying to walk wisely. To walk you have to put one foot in front of the other. Don’t stay in that feeling of being frazzled or worn out- sit down and work out ways you can change things.. even though your steps may be little at least you’re moving towards better!