How Do You Find Balance?

My to do list is a mile long.

Porter needs a haircut.

Evan needs a dentist appointment.

Is the baby hitting all of his milestones?

We are out of milk.

I need to edit a photo session.

The kitchen floors are disgusting.

I have 10 paintings to do in the next few weeks.

What's for dinner tonight?

When's that last time we had a date night?

Can anyone relate??

Balance. It’s a word that is thrown around all the time, and it’s become this elusive thing we all seem to be trying to attain. Being a mom, being a wife, being a HUMAN, working...balancing it all seems next to impossible most days. As soon as one aspect seems to be doing well, the other is falling apart.

I got the floors cleaned, but I yelled at the kids 5 times in the process.

I finished some work, but the house is a wreck.

I got a new blog post written, but it was after the kids went to bed and cut into the only time of day I have with my husband.

See what I mean?

So basically I've decided that balance is a sham. There's not going to be any one day where I do everything well. There's just not. Before I really embraced that notion, I was letting guilt and stress creep in.

"I'm a stay at home mom. My house should be clean. Dinner should be prepped. Laundry shouldn't be piled up on top of the dryer. Beds should be made….right?"

But then I had to give myself a quick reality check. “Yes, you are a stay at home mom, but you're also a work at home mom. And you have 3 small kids who make the simplest tasks impossible to do a majority of the time. And who told you all of these rules for what your life was supposed to look like?!”

Honestly, I've got enough things on my plate on any given day, and there's not enough room for guilt.

Life is meant to ebb and flow. And that applies to all of the things we do. I've got to take the pressure and the expectation off of myself that I'm going to be able to fit in a million things everyday and they are all going to be executed perfectly. There's got to be a give and take.

This has been both an awesome realization, but also a hard one. Because I want to do ALL THE THINGS. But there's just not enough time in the day. Or the week. Or the month. Or the next few years. I'm having to step back and assess what is really attainable for me in this season of my life. With my kids still so little and mostly at home, mothering is my main job. And my hardest job. I know they won't be this small or quite as demanding forever (and I also know with bigger kids comes bigger problems). But right now there just isn't enough time during the day to do all the things I want to do. That's just where we are at. And that's a good thing. Mothering is an important thing that I need to invest my time in. It's not getting in the way of all the other things I "need" to be doing. And it's not an inconvenience. Yikes. I totally struggle with that skewed perspective some days, as ugly as it sounds to say out loud.

So what does life look like in this season?

It looks like waking up in the morning before everyone in my house so I can work on whatever is on my to do list without worrying about being interrupted. It looks like some days I ignore social media and I'm not thinking about next week's posts and I'm just focusing on enjoying time unplugged with my guys. And some days I stay up late writing and I'm just a little sleepy the next day. Some days I spend the entire day cleaning because nothing has gotten done all week and no one has clean underwear. Some days my hands are covered in paint while I rush to carpool to get the kids from school. Some days we veg out on the couch with Netflix and eat all the snacks and don't worry about a thing. It looks like real life. Give and take. Knowing there is freedom to not have to do everything all at once all the time, to take things as they come.

I don't know where this notion came from that we have to manage a perfectly balanced life (I blame Pinterest). But it's a lie. The sooner we realize that the better.

Mamas, drop the guilt. Drop the pressure. Pray about and decide what's important to you and what's attainable for you in the season of life you're currently in. Please notice the emphasis on YOU because this is going to look different for everyone, and there isn’t one “right way” to do it. Invest your time in those things that matter most to you, and know it's ok that everyday (or any day) is not going to be perfect. Let the dishes stay in the sink. Take a day off from any extra work. Get a babysitter for the kids. It's ok. I promise. Don’t let “balance” be an impossible standard that you set for yourself. Be kind and give yourself grace, so much grace.

Can any of you relate to this? I clearly don't have all the answers. This is just where I'm at right now! I'd love to hear your perspective on what "balance" (or lack thereof) in your life looks like! Share your thoughts in the comments.