Balance and Parenthood – Not Happening



A few years ago, I attended a blog conference and was mesmerized by one of the speakers who declared “Balance is bullshit.”

As a working mom with three kids, I often find myself desperate for a solution to do it better, to do it all. But as I listened to Luly that spring afternoon, it was if a breakthrough had finally been made. I will always have a lot on my plate, so I just need to get over the mommy guilt. I’m doing the best I can, and my kids are pretty amazing (on most days), so who cares if I rarely bake or make a PTA meeting? For some, those activities bring great joy, but not for me.

[bctt tweet=”I can’t #balance the list … not today. NOt most days. #busymoms #moms @breadwinningmom”]

Still, as we roll into a new year, I think about all of the things I want to do, and cringe.

I want to start planning a few family vacations.

I want to have more one-on-one dates with my kids, and husband.

I want to find more time to write.

I want to doodle and color and create.

I want to get outdoors and hike.

I want to learn to take better photographs.

I want to attend a few live concerts.

I want to sign up for a killer race.

I want to give meditation a try.

I want to read more books.

I want to find time for friends.

I want to cook healthier meals.

I want, I want, I want.

But as I reflect on this list that would bring me so much joy, I certainly recognize my expectations are unrealistic. The whole full-time job thing sucks up a lot of time, and three active kids dictate the rest of my waking hours. I do religiously squeeze in exercise, and read every once in a while. But really, there just aren’t enough minutes in the day.

I can’t balance the list … not today.

As women, as mothers, as professionals, as volunteers, as daughters – there are so many things on our to-do lists. On some days, the job wins out. On other days, family is priority No. 1. There are moments we devote to church. And moments we dedicate to parents, or extended family. On any given day, we can’t attend to all of the wants and people in our lives. We just have to surrender and do the best we can.

If your quest is “balance,” good luck. If you’ve figured it out, please tell me your secret.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or stay-at-home mom. Balance is tough to come by. It’s bullshit.

As we settle into 2016, I’ll still continue to make my lists, set goals and strive to do more.

But more than anything, I want to remind myself that these years of raising kids will fly. Today, we shuttle them to after-school activities, review homework, pick up strewn Lego pieces, and sort through piles of laundry.

Someday, they’ll be grown and I’ll likely have more time on my hands than I want.

Balance can’t be achieved today. I’ve accepted that reality. But ever so often, I need a reminder.