We are all searching for the answer to the question, how to balance it all. Well I found the answer! Do you want to know? Well it’s pretty simple, you don’t. No one has the answer to this question, so stop stressing and worrying about it. Instead find what works for YOU. Instagram can be deceiving, if you let it. Sure friends, family, bloggers, celebs, and everyone else may post all things happy but no one is perfect and has everything together. If they do well, good for them but I guarantee they don’t.
Social media is a place where people escape, get inspiration, find someone to relate to and a way to connect with others. What you take from a photo is your own perception, you don’t know what’s going on in the background. That happy moment of seeing kids playing could be followed by a 10 min tantrum or even before that gorgeous photo, the fight of making sure your kiddo eats that bite of broccoli.
Not to say you can’t balance it all, there are definitely things you can do. You just have to find what works for you at the time. I say at the time, because each month things seem to change and especially each phase of childhood.
Here’s a sample of life (at least for me):
- what to make for dinner
- clean the house
- laundry and more laundry
- work demands
- kids activities
- your life
Let me break it down:
what to make for dinner… if you have been following us then you know I meal plan and prep. I don’t spend hours on meal planning and prepping, hour max on prepping. See my post HERE on how and why I started this. Having meals planned takes a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m no way perfect at this. Sometimes we head to Chick-Fil-A even though I may have prepped the easiest dinner. Life happens and sometimes you have to wave the white flag. It’s ok, I give you permission. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, if anything you are a superhero! And you know what, who doesn’t love a PB&J sandwich or grilled cheese!
clean the house… blah, that’s all I have to say. On my post HERE I talk about this as well. I outsource this. It’s not worth my time, I’d rather spend it with my family. Before hiring someone, this would be a constant argument and stresser. Now, it doesn’t even pop into my head, well until the cleaning people come over and I need to make a mad dash around the house to pick up things. After the kids go to bed, we take 20 minutes to pick up any remaining toys the kids didn’t pick up. We generally have the kids pick up their toys before dinner. Whatever doesn’t make it in that 20 minutes, stays. I’ve gotten really good at this so I can get most of everything picked up. Also, if you live on a multi level house the rule is if there is something sitting by the steps, you take as much as you can upstairs. You can even put a basket by the stairs to help with carrying. I don’t because I usually forget to bring the basket back down or up ha!
laundry and more laundry… I’ve thought about sending the kids stuff out but I started a system of doing a load a night. This has been so helpful. I toss one load in the washer in the morning or in the evening, then the next day switch it to the dryer then fold at the dryer. Then I make myself put the clothes away immediately. I incorporated the 5 second rule when I try to talk myself out of putting it away. If you are not familiar with the 5 second rule, I highly recommend you read the book or check out the Ted Talk.
work demands… this one is hard because it’s your job. That beings said, you can choose what is demanded of you. Work drama, is it benefiting you? Does it really matter what the other people on your team are doing or not doing, nope. Yeah, sure it’s hard not to give into this, it’s human nature. I struggle with this but I try to remind myself that I don’t need that stress. Remember, get your work done, show you are worth your paycheck. If you don’t want to go to that happy hour, then don’t. Don’t need to attend that meeting about nothing, then don’t go. Block of time when you are most focused to get the work done that you need to get done and honor that time.
wifing… being a spouse or having a partner can be stressful at times. You may want them to do something that they are not doing, like the dishes. Biggest thing is communication and try not to control. Also, remember to let them help even if it’s not being done the way you like, like folding laundry. If they don’t do it the way you want, then do it yourself and give them another task. For example, if you don’t like the way they put away laundry then have them load the washer and dryer, that’s pretty simple 🙂 Reminder, they use to do things before you were around. I know hard to believe!
kids activities… now we really haven’t hit this stage so I don’t have much to offer. We currently have two activities and luckily I have the luxury of choosing the schedule. At this point, there are no more than two activities. I only have one child in activities so that number may change when the youngest gets older. We try to split the activities so if I take one week then Dana will take the other week or switch off on one activity, really depends on our schedules.
your life… this one is huge. Before you can be there and take great care of your family, you have to take care of yourself. Waking up a little earlier before everyone wakes up has been a game changer. This gives me time to sit and relax, wake up at my own pace and really think about the day. Another thing I do is set realistic expectations for the day. I know that I’m most likely not going to tackle everything on my to-do list, that there will be a last minute fire at work, most likely be exhausted by the end of the day and one of the kids will throw a tantrum. If I say to myself, today is going to be great and I’m going to get everything accomplished, when it doesn’t happen then it’s another day that wasn’t perfect and didn’t go as planned. Just waking up and getting out of bed is a major accomplishment!
The biggest thing to remember is prioritizing what is important and what’s not. If you don’t want to go to that birthday party or event, then don’t. It’s your life and your family. With all the things that go on, you have control to pick how you spend your time. All days are not perfect and there are bumps in the road but figuring out how to manage it all is up to you!
Remember you are human and it’s ok to have bad days, they make you stronger! Think about all the good things and accomplishments you have made.