What a loaded word. And I'm not talking about the ability to stand on a beam without falling off. I'm talking juggling all the crap in life. "Wellness" goes beyond the being physically fit. Part of being "well" is finding the balance in it. Daily balance for me, and probably every other mom on the planet, consists of work, keeping house, feeding my family, playing and educating my kids, being a wife, finding time to exercise, and still not losing sight of who I am beyond wife, mother, and all those other roles. Its a constant and never-ending struggle. Being a work-at-home mom just throws an extra kink in. When you go to the office, its relatively easy to set all the other stuff aside for your eight hours a day. When you work at home, its a little harder--the cleaning you need to do stares you in the face. And, in my case, the kids are pulling on your arm the entire time to do other things.
The holidays are an exceptionally hard time to find balance. Its so hard to do all the day to day things without throwing in shopping and all that fun jazz on top of it too. And in our house, daylight savings time is still wreaking havoc. Sometimes you have to re-prioritize. For example, this week I've taken 3 days in a row off running (unheard of for me) to both rest my body AND get other things in my life in order.
So, here's a few tips for balance. Take them at face value and keep in mind that for me, at least, it is a constant battle. I often feel that I hover on the edge of the loony bin, and sometimes I'm not good at ANY of the hats I wear. But as moms (and women), we just do our best. What more can anyone ask of us?
-Make a list.
Pick five or so things you MUST get done. Cross them off as you do them, and don't forget to give yourself at LEAST a little credit, if not a little reward, for doing the things on that list.
-Put yourself first
Its okay to do that. Just because you might have kids or a spouse doesn't mean you aren't permitted to be a tad selfish. I do this for my workouts--everyone knows I'm a basket case when I miss working out, so it keeps EVERYONE happy for me to get it done AND it keeps me out of that loony bin I mentioned earlier.
-Clear the clutter
Get rid of the junk in your life. It may be people, it may be toys your kids don't play with anymore, and it may be stuff you bought but never used. Whatever the case, if there's nothing positive about something (or someone), just let it go. Its pretty cathartic to clear out that clutter.
Whatever you have the hardest time with, plan ahead to make that ONE THING easier on yourself. I SUCK at meal planning and go through periods where I JUST. DON'T. WANT. TO. COOK. (Or, alternatively, am so busy with work I have NO TIME to cook). So whenever I can, I stock my freezer with dinners so that on those days, I don't have to do something I really don't want to do. I just reach in to my freezer and warm up some homemade goodness. My budget thanks me for this as well.
-In the end, it really isn't that important
Chances are, whatever happened that is throwing your life into chaos, the world WILL NOT END because of it. It might create an inconvenience for someone, somewhere. I have a hard time letting things go, and part of my challenge in finding the balance is just to take a deep breath when things happen, say OKAY, and move on. I find that this is the best thing about being a parent . . . At the end of the day, whatever may or may not have happened, my kids are still smiling. And they still think I'm the coolest mom around. So, the rest is just background noise.