Balance is something I pride myself on. Albeit, it’s not always successful, but I always give it the old college try.
I’ve been known to effectively balance work, fitness, friends, family, cooking meals, having dinner parties, girl time, personal errands and so much more. My partner calls me a machine because I’m like the Energizer bunny. I just don’t (and won’t) stop. I’m a career woman who runs at 110% all the time, and the one thing I’ve mastered as I’ve gotten older is learning to the power of saying no when I feel myself burning out. Let’s be honest, ‘balancing it all’ requires knowing one’s limits and when one is close to that limit, I just say no. No to things that are of little importance for me or not at the top of the priority list. If it means keeping my sanity, the answer is no.
Now enter a baby into my world. All of a sudden, balance is thrown out the window, and it’s the farthest thing from my mind… or maybe I’m just too scared to admit that I cannot balance it all, the way I really want to. I now sympathize with all those other mothers who were trying to balance everything once their little nugget came into their world! Between feedings, diaper changes, lack of sleep, cuddling, coddling, bath time, making dinner, grocery shopping, laundry, errands, blogging, making time for my partner and all that jazz, I’m struggling to find balance with everything on my plate, and boy is that plate FULL. And I’m not even working because I’m on maternity leave! Just when I think the day is starting, I blink and it’s 4pm. Time and balance is a foreign thing I now know nothing about.
The pressure for moms to balance everything is insurmountable. We’ve all seen or been on the receiving end of harsh criticism, whether you choose to be a stay-at-home mom or a full-time, out-of-home professional mom. Whatever it is, we can’t seem to get a break sometimes because we’re expected to just ‘make it work’ because it’s ‘our job to’, so balance is something I work very hard at, and I feel like I’m losing this battle.
But I have to keep telling myself you are only five weeks into this parenthood thing!
I always saw myself as the woman who could do it all, and when it was time to have a family, I would effortlessly go back to work, come home, have dinner with my tribe, do bath time, get the kid to bed then enjoy a glass of wine with my partner as we unwind and talk about each other’s day. That seems to be more of a dream and less of a reality at this point. I’m already stressing out about child care as I am only taking a 3-month maternity leave and I’m in a new city where I have no clue about the state of child care availability or cost.
So how will I find this ‘new’ balance for this new life? Truth be told, it’s 100% up to me, and finding what works best for me/us is what’s key and that’s the only thing that should matter. Luckily, I do look to the amazing tribe of women in my life to keep me sane and support me no matter what. My partner is my rock who is equally supportive of my choices and only wants me to do what makes me happy, and he’s the most present father I’ve seen since my own dad.
That balance, after all, should not be that hard to achieve if I just take the pressure off myself and do the best I can with what I have. It’s as simple as that.