Before you read the title of this post and keep right on moving, I want you to stop for a moment. I know that the title refers to being a mom, but for the purposes of this post, you can easily replace the word “motherhood” with just about anything – work, blogging, wedding planning, marriage, etc. This post is really about balancing your commitments, which is why I chose to highlight the word “balancing” in the graphic. The tips and tricks I’m going to share today can be applied to so many different seasons of life, so I really encourage you to give it a read even if you’re not trying to balance motherhood and more.
I used to be pretty good at balancing everything that was on my plate. In fact, I’ve heard the phrase “I don’t know how you do it all!” more times than I can count. When I became a mother, my balancing abilities seemed to come to a screeching halt as I adjusted to an entirely new way of living. At first, I allowed myself the grace to focus on being a mother and all that it entails. Recently though, I’ve been focusing on getting back to “doing it all” as so many would say. As a result, I’ve revisited my old methods and made adjustments as necessary. Today, I want to share some of my tips for balancing everything life has thrown your way. Each tip has an activity connected to it to help you put it in action.
Create a Vision
Knowing where you’re headed and why you’re on that path is a huge step when it comes to balance. Take a moment to think about your life. Picture what it looks like right now. Now take a moment and picture what you want your life to look like. Take some time to write down the things that you want out of life and what is most important for you. I highly recommend condensing it down into one or two sentences that you can refer back to daily. For me, I want a happy family that is able to pursue adventures on a regular basis. After you’ve written down what you want in a sentence or two, post it somewhere as a reminder. If you’re a more visual person, you could even create a collage or picture to go along with it.
I want you to go back to how you envisioned your life. This time we’re going to focus in on the important parts and write those down. When I say focus in on the important parts, I want you to separate things by importance. For example, a happy home is more important than a clean home for me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t value a clean home (because I really do) – it simply means that happiness is a higher priority for me. Take some time to establish which items deserve your attention and which items can be shelved for later.
Having a great support system is a huge part of maintaining balance. One of the biggest things about having a support system is also communicating with that support system. When others know what you need and how they can help, then they’re able to help you more effectively. Even little things can help free up time and stress in the long run. For example, my husband cleaned up the kitchen last night after he cooked dinner. Normally, this is my task, but he knew I’d only had 2 hours of sleep and it was his way of showing that we’re in this together. In the long run, it made a world of difference for me because I was able to crawl into bed just a little bit earlier.
Personalize Your System
Pinterest is a girl’s best friend. It’s also a girl’s worst enemy. I highly recommend looking on Pinterest and reading other blogs to see systems in action. I love getting ideas from others on what works and what doesn’t work. Remember that everyone is different though and the perfect system for Susie isn’t necessarily the perfect system for Kara. Look around, try different things, but ultimately make it your own.
This one is a huge part of balance! If you’re too attached to your schedule, then it’s hard to improvise when things get messed up. I highly recommend creating a schedule for your day complete with a to do list of what needs to be done. Use both of these as a guide throughout the day. If something comes up, you can always refer back to your to do list at a later time to make sure things are still getting done. Life doesn’t work on a schedule and most of the time, flexibility allows us to truly enjoy life’s surprise moments.
Life is always changing. It’s important to recognize this and accept this fact. What works one moment won’t necessarily work the next. (Take it from a mom with a baby that’s constantly changing.) The steps above will help you prepare for the changes that occur on a regular basis in life. Sometimes they’re big changes we can prepare for (like marriage) but other times, they’re a surprise that we can’t prepare for.
Above All Else
Remember to give yourself grace and lots of self care – especially when life gets messy. By taking care of yourself first, you’ll be a better person when you’re taking care of others and dealing with the many messy moments that life throws your way.
How do you find balance in your life? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would add to this list? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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I love helping others find their focus, which is why I teamed up with Raewyn of Shield Sisters Initiative for the From Distracted to Inspired & Productive challenge. We’re currently in the midst of the Distracted to Inspired & Productive challenge. If you missed the initial sign ups, you can still click below to find out information on upcoming challenges and how to get the workbook after the challenge is complete!