New mamas, allow me to share my newest revelation: I am letting go of the idea of balance.
It's taken me five years to learn my truth: There is no such thing. It seems we are always talking about this elusive thing called “balance." And I've struggled for years to find it. But what I've learned in the process has allowed for greater joy to emerge.
There is no secret formula for balance. Some days we are rock stars—gliding through our world with ease, ticking off completed tasks and projects all over the place, baking cookies, volunteering at our child's school, and helping a friend in need. But that's not every day. And that's okay.
Our lives are measured in seasons. Our weeks and months and even each day can be divided up into seasons of focus, seasons of passions, seasons of needs. The desires and the necessities of our families change constantly, and our reactions to them and our subsequent movements through life also change. What meant balance one day doesn't mean the same thing on the next.
Balance. It's not constructs of time that make it possible, it's the attitude of the heart. It's being fully present in whichever place we find ourselves, surrendering to the idea that each moment is unfolding as it should be, trusting that our day is providing for us exactly what should be.
I don't think I've had a single day of motherhood when I felt “caught up." I am always partway between numerous work or creative projects, while attempting some sort of family magic, and then plodding through the daily have-to's of life—bills, providing food, driving people places—all of it. I don't think it is possible to feel caught up without massive amounts of help. (So ask for help when you can!)
I've adopted a new attitude about the myriad of end results I'd like to achieve in a day. As much as possible, I'm no longer tied to the outcome. I work to stay present, to remain grounded in peace, to focus on one thing at a time. I can't be in three places at once. It is simple physics. We mothers try to be, but we can't be.
Life becomes simpler when we surrender to the seasons of the day, the week, the year.
Some days will be for creation, some for nurturing, some for going forth boldly in the world, some for quietly rearranging the cabinets inside the home. These days, instead of attempting to do all these things in one day, I sit quietly in the morning and I ask. I ask the inner self, I ask the universe what I need to do that day. Where does my heart need to be? Who needs me most? And then I let the rest go.
We can't “do it all" at the same time ladies, and trying to do so creates anxiety, both for ourselves and for our families.
Let's shift our inner paradigm. Simply by staying present we are doing enough, more than enough. We don't need to balance all our passions and responsibilities into each day.
For me, now, balance means presence.
Balance doesn't mean crossing off my entire list of goals, across all the categories of my life. Balance means presence. Balance means living through the heart. Balance means finding love everywhere, no matter what the task.
Give yourself a gift of more peaceful mothering. Give up the quest for the perfect balance. It doesn't exist. All we have can do is to be present wherever we are.