“My journey has always been the balance between chaos and order.” ~ Philippe Petit
Tell me Philippe doesn’t speak to your soul with that statement. As a mom of two (soon to be three), balance between chaos and order highlight my days. Sometimes I forget the chaos in the background of images I post or send and others point it out to me. Other times I feel like I rock at this mom life and proudly post about how organized or clean a room is (for all of 30 minutes usually).
I have to share a light bulb moment I had last night while putting my daughter to bed. My son had an early release day (I rarely worry about this because I just tell him I need to finish up some work and he, at 7, is amazing and keeps his sister occupied for me until I complete whatever task I have left). He played around 3 or 4 games out of our game closet with my daughter after doing his daily reading AND put them away after they were done with each. I realized this well after the fact, but still praised him for it as he lay in bed because I wanted him to know how much I appreciate that simple effort.
Then, it hit me. How did I manage to instill that in my beautiful babies while my husband lacks that normally (some days he is on top of it, most days I’ll put the games away days after)?
The Frustration in Balancing
I know I’m not the only mom who feels like we are in charge of it all. And, well, frankly, that’s because we usually are. I work from home while taking care of our children, tote them around to their activities as chauffeur, take care of the dogs, book appointments, cook, clean, organize, handle bills that aren’t automatically withdrawn, etc. How do we do it all?
Honestly? Some days are better than others. If I ASK my husband to do something, he generally will, but I usually have so many items swirling around in my head that it comes out a jumbled mess or I find it more aggravating to me to have to ask rather than just doing it myself. I can let it go and stay calm if I’m not constantly having to ask for assistance. I realize he doesn’t see the “mess” the way I do.
So, while I get frustrated, he does not see the picture the way I see every mound or disarray. And that’s okay.
I was a single mom prior to my husband. Anyone who has been in that boat knows the transition can be stressful. I had ways I did things and THAT was how it was done. Toss in a husband and another child and two dogs and there are days I still think I will lose my mind.
BUT, my husband has taught me that sometimes the dishes can wait. Sometimes the laundry can sit folded and not put away (or unfolded and in the basket) for a while without the world ending. I know, this shocked me, as well. We get so caught up in needing to keep everything in perfect order and the kids spotless and well-kempt and… and… and.. Once in a while, we need to take a breather, go outside to blow those bubbles, have a dance party in the middle of the day, or something just as equally small. To our family, those little moments can mean the world.
My Tips to Stay Balanced
Whether you have multiple or just one child, the work can seem endless. Here are my suggestions to you:
- Do what you can when you can -- If you have a day where it seems the universe is against you, take that time to regroup. Play with your little(s), watch your favorite show, do the minimum that needs to be done (for me that is usually some client work) and YOU will have another great day where you get your list and more accomplished.
- Breathe -- I know your mind is racing, you have to get a load of laundry in, you have to come up with dinner from nothing, and everything else in between. Just take those few moments to breathe and have a cup of coffee, tea, or water. You will allow yourself enough time to calm and then you’ll be much more productive.
- Ask for help -- I know I mentioned I find this aggravating, but it truly can be a lifesaver in some moments. You are partners and in this together. Hopefully, eventually, it will become habit and you’ll work in tandem well. I also have friends who are tremendous help when I get overwhelmed. It is OKAY to need that help.
- Let the kids help -- even my 3 year old has little tasks. She helps clean up the living room, loves to help me cook or bake, helps me sort laundry, and has started helping empty the little garbages. My 7 year old dusts, takes the big garbage out, refills the little garbages with bags, helps cook, feeds the dogs, and puts his clothes away. Generally speaking, they do a wonderful job and I get a little relief. Granted, I need to prep myself for the attitude that comes with it at times, but it still helps me out.
Looking for ways to encourage your kids to help you complete everyday tasks-- and teach them academic skills at the same time?
Put it into Practice:
What do you find helpful in finding that equilibrium in daily and weekly duties that come with being a mom? Happy journey to finding balance between your chaos and order!
About the Author: Jessica Halvorsen
I am a thirty-something mom. With two degrees under my belt and a virtual assistant business, I find mommy-hood to be the most challenging yet rewarding part of my life. Mistakes will be made, failures will happen, but why not accept those flaws, do your best, love with all you have, and have as much fun as you can along the way?
Follow Jessica and her family at https://www.familyfunflaws.com