Motherhood has always been fascinating to me–characterized by moments of overwhelming love and the occasional need for precious solitude. Balancing the demands of family, work, and personal life can seem like an unending tightrope walk. The feeling of being “overwhelmed” is no stranger to any parent, but it’s essential to view it as a friend—a signal that something requires your attention. See, the feeling of “overwhelmed” and I have become very good friends. Though it seems scary on the surface, it is in these moments, when “overwhelmed” and “life” are in the same space, I learn something new. We seek balance between work and life and we uncover the keys to managing it all.
“How do you balance it all?” is a question I’m frequently asked. On the surface, my life appears to be a juggling act—managing social media, filming for YouTube, and running my reselling business while homeschooling, pursuing fitness, maintaining a home, being a wife, and cherishing friendships. It’s a lot, but it’s far from perfect.
1. Recognizing the Weight of Tasks
Renowned author Nora Roberts provides a valuable perspective on life balance. She likens tasks to juggling balls, where some are plastic and others are glass. These represent the various responsibilities we juggle daily. If a plastic ball falls, it can bounce back—these are tasks that can wait. However, the glass balls, representing crucial tasks, must be caught to prevent shattering. Part of the process is learning to recognize which tasks are glass and prioritize them. Not all your priorities for your family will be glass and not all priorities for your job will be plastic. A part of true work life balance is to determine which is which.
2. Prioritize Self-Care
While self-care may seem elusive, it’s non-negotiable for maintaining a thriving business and a harmonious life. Self-care is not just about pampering; it’s about preserving your well-being.
Consider it like the airplane safety demonstration—put your own mask on first before helping others. Neglecting self-care compromises your ability to care for anyone else. In all seriousness, you cannot put masks on other flyers if you’re passed out, and you cannot pour out into the people who need you if you’re burned out.
3. Progress Over Perfection
Perfection is a fleeting illusion, perpetuated by social media’s “before and after” narratives. You know the ones. Where you see a room being renovated in a 3 minute video, or a dramatic before and after hairstyle.
And though consciously, we know that there is more to it than what is seen on the screen, subconciously, we’re taking it all in, comparing our real life to the life that is displayed on the screen before us, reaching perfection in 3 minutes or less.
The truth is, you’ll never have it all together, and that’s perfectly fine. Accept that a few plastic balls may drop each day. Embrace the journey of improvement, for the joy is in the process, and the destination is ever-changing.
4. Embrace Imperfection and Resilience
It’s okay to falter and feel like you’re falling short. In fact, it is expected and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.
Failure and disappointment are valuable teachers, revealing your limits and urging you to explore alternative paths.
But hear this:
Don’t stay there a moment longer than you have to. It is equally crucial to know when to rise from setbacks and keep moving foward. Use disappointment as a stepping stone, not a roadblock.
5. Embrace the Mess, but Don’t Get Comfortable
When I worked in restaurants, the term for falling behind and the demands in the current situation being too high for one person to managed is called being “in the weeds.” During such moments, it’s easy to become disheartened. Remember that regardless of your current circumstances, this season will pass. You’ll still be standing when it does, gracefully balancing life’s demands, and continuing your journey.
Best of luck to you!