On Balance

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of balance ever sine I was a kid. I would try to walk across just about anything without falling off… including the fence at my grandma’s house. As I’ve gotten older, obviously my idea of balance has expanded tremendously. These days, I spend a lot of time trying to attain that elusive work/life balance thing that so many people talk about. Heck, I’ve even talked about it!

But I’m realizing more and more lately that in order for me to achieve balance, I’m going to have to redefine what it means to me. Because right now, well… balance in my mind means:

I ran the laundry AND put it away.

I went grocery shopping, made a meal plan, AND actually cooked dinner every night.

I made a healthy breakfast for the kids AND for myself.

I went to the gym AND cleaned my house AND wrote a blog post AND answered emails AND worked on my Kickstarter campaign AND had a girls night AND remembered to send snacks to kindergarten AND filed my taxes on time AND spent time with my husband AND played with my kids AND…

Well, you get the point. And I know that life isn’t supposed to be easy all the time and I certainly know that I’m not the only one that has an incredible amount of responsibility. We all do. That’s the problem. We keep adding more and more to our plates and we keep believing in this idea of perfection. I know I’m guilty of that. I’m an incredibly motivated person and I know that I can do just about anything I put my mind to.

But the truth is, even though I know I can do anything… I can’t do everything. I just can’t. So I’m making a commitment to change my definition of balance. Because my sanity depends on it… and because I think it’s high time we all join together in being more realistic about what’s possible. And because it’s just easier to know that everyone struggles with balance and it’s okay and we’re not alone. Right? So here’s my new definition of balance:

I ran the laundry. It won’t always get put away before it gets wrinkled… isn’t that why they invented the wrinkle cycle on the dryer? Hangers are overrated anyway.

I went grocery shopping, I made a meal plan, and I heated up Paleo Meals four times this week. It’s a home cooked meal even though I didn’t do the cooking. That’s a win.

I made a healthy breakfast for the kids… and two eggs for myself. Eggs are better than not eating until lunch!

I went to the gym once this week, but hey I went. I avoided email all week, didn’t blog last week but scraped together a post this week, forgot to send snacks to kindergarten three days in a row but remembered on the fourth day, and filed my taxes ON TIME! I worked night and day on my Kickstarter campaign and ignored everyone I know… but it’s a three day weekend and we’ll have lots of family time.

And that’s okay. Because balance is no longer about doing it all, all the time. It’s about not caring that my house is a mess because I’m doing important work. It’s about working thirty hours in two days so I can get important work done… and then spending the whole weekend with my family. Balance is not about perfection anymore. It’s about doing what I can and not stressing out or feeling guilty about the things that have to wait. Especially if it’s laundry!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on balance… especially how you’re trying to redefine it for yourself! Leave me a comment below.working on work life balance

Jenny (290 Posts)

Jenny Solar is the co-founder of The Happy Family Movement and Phone Monsters, Inc. She's a wife to Josh and mama to three kiddos: Max, Ava, and Lia. She's passionate about creating memorable experiences for her family and inspiring others to do the same.


2 comments
Lexyann515
Lexyann515

I think this is a great article. It's something I'm trying to figure out because I know I'm driving my family nuts. The problem is exactly what you stated, I know I can make anything happen and can drive the steps to get there. I don't know how to turn that off. Plain and simple. I don't know how to sit down and just enjoy time with my kids without thinking about all of the things I should be doing instead. I'm stuck. 

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@Lexyann515 oh it's so hard... I know that feeling all too well. Especially when you're working on something you're passionate about and excited about! I'm trying hard to schedule time to just BE with my kiddos. I will actually put things on my to do list like "play catch with Max" or "read a book with Ava" or "play a game with Lia". That helps remind me in those moments that those things are important too! Good luck!! And sending lots of hugs, love, and understanding!!