In September, the Motherhood Collective will feature posts on balance - having it or not! It's certainly a state most of us struggle to find. September is, for some, the calm before the storm. Our kids are back in school, fall activities have begun and we have a few precious weeks before we really have to start thinking about the holidays. What better time to take a few minutes to reflect on how we spend our time, juggle our lives and what we can do to achieve our own perfect balance! ~TMC For me, living a wholistic life is all-inclusive. What I mean, it is part of everything we do as a family such as: attachment and purposeful parenting; respecting our children as whole persons; trying to eat a real, whole foods diet; getting the proper amount of rejuvenation and exercise; living a green and eco-conscious lifestyle; and most importantly, striving for an honest and pure Christian lifestyle. Some of these things seem to come easier than others. Practicing attachment parenting was a natural course of action for me. It seems to be what I am naturally inclined to. Ironically enough, finding balance is one of the eight tenets of Attachment Parenting. Living a green and eco-conscious life is also very natural for me. I am a minimalist in most areas; therefore, not being wasteful is fairly easy.
Then there are the other areas that don’t come so easily. Respecting my children when I am a living lack of sleep is truly a task for me. It isn’t that I don’t want to do this, but it is difficult to control my emotions when all I want is a moment of peace to gather my thoughts. I could go through each area of my life, dividing the easy from the struggles.
After 22 months, I know that I need balance to survive.
Here are a few things that have helped me to maintain balance amongst the mayhem:
1. Be patient. My favorite mommy mantra is: “This too shall pass.” Sometimes in the midst of whatever struggle we are going through, we tend to think it will never end. As with most things with kids, it won’t last forever. If we are patient, the phase will pass and be nothing more than a fleeting memory.
2. Stop and listen. Listen to your kids and your spouse. Simply stopping to listen will tell you so much about that person’s needs, which in turn, will help you to focus on one thing. As moms, we tend to do, do, do. If we are focusing on these priorities, then maybe we can knock out a few of those unnecessary tasks. This will, hopefully, decrease our busyness.
3. Go outside. When everything seems to be spiraling out of control, when everyone’s voices seem to be getting louder and louder, when I start to lose the ability to hear myself think – I go outside! There are actually very few days that I don’t go outside. I strap one kid to my body and put the other in a stroller, and off we go. Everyone is able to take a breather, and reconnect.
4. Simplify your morning routine. If I have to be somewhere in the morning by a certain time, then I have to prepare the day/night before. With two kids under two to get dressed and out the door, I have to have a few things streamlined. I have my bag packed, my clothes picked out, their clothes and diapers set out, and breakfast in mind. If I don’t do these things, we are late and grumpy. Oh, and try to go to bed on time also.
5. Have sex! Okay, there, I said it. I said the “S” word. Even when we feel like we have been touched all day, we feel like we can’t stay awake one more minute, or we simply have our minds focused on 100 other tasks; this is a much needed act to have in our relationship. How much? Well, that is up to you and your SO. I just recommend you do it enough so you don’t forget how. I hear it's like riding a bike...