Monday, October 17, 2011

Mommy Balancing Act

I'm often asked how I balance everything, so I thought I'd devote a little time to talking about the incredible balancing act that all moms have to figure out how to manage.

Wren, Josh, two dogs, a fast pace and high stress job, volunteer/Board of Director responsibilities, crafting, friends, hobbies, laundry, cooking, cleaning, being an active and involved Auntie and sister, finding "me" time...well, you get the idea.

Everybody has to find their balance. I feel like I do an alright job of it, and I'll share some tips below.
But let's not be confused--I fail on many counts. Every day.

I procrastinate.

My poor dogs haven't been taken on a proper walk in weeks.

I don't exercise like I should.

I rarely cook.

I showed you the state my closet found itself in!

My (sometimes twice weekly) trips to Hobby Lobby and/or Target often result in bags that remain full in the guest room until I either need the item inside (typically for a craft project) OR until I am running low on reusable bags!

I tried to be an extreme couponer. {BIG.FAT.FAIL}
You can see the two pics below of my beautifully organized binder FILLED with coupons.
I'm one heckuva clipper, but I just can't put forth the effort to go flouncing all over timbucktoo to find the deals, so I didn't use really any of them! They're all expired now!


There is always at least ONE pair of shoes, usually more, stacked on the two bottom stairs waiting to be taken up.

You don't even want to see the inside of my purse.

I'm pretty sure we have a mail fairy who comes in the middle of the night and stacks things on the kitchen counter, the buffet station counter, the dining room table...wherever he sees the most clean space. Because we *always* have at least one pile of mail to go through, sort, file or throw away.

I haven't finished a ME book in months despite having started no less than three.
(I sure do keep up on the good ole children's books though...I just posted a video about some of our faves, click HERE to watch.)

Along those same lines, you can see my poor neglected stack of O Magazines (some even still in the wrapper!), which is horrible because I loooove this magazine:


What else? Oh..um...I'm swamped at work, I haven't been to see my nephews play baseball yet this {fallball} season, my garden needs picked, we need to scoop poop, my windows need washed...you get the drift.

It's tough.

But you know what?
I'm okay with it.

I have this perfect little bundle of deliciousness.


She is happy. She is smart. She is loved.
And she knows it.We are happy. Life is good.

So what's the trick to finding that peace?
How do you get to a place where you're okay with never getting it all done?

Well, I'm still working on that, honestly. I think I'll probably work on it until the end of time.
But here are a few tips that I have found to be super helpful, at least for me.

1. Probably my best trick has been to set an alarm on my phone for each night. Wren goes down at 7, so I give myself until 9:15 to do whatever I want...craft, blog, vlog, catch up on my shows, etc. And then at 9:15, I try (and I stress ttrryyyyy) to devote a fixed amount of time to picking up.
Some nights, I ignore the thing.
Some nights I make a clean sweep through the downstairs and get done in about 15 minutes.
Others, I get going and end up cleaning for an hour. (Okay, those nights are fewer and further between.)
2. Prioritize. I make lists. And sometimes, lists of lists I need to make.
Pinterest really helps me organize my craft projects.
I have a little notebook full of ideas for blogs, vlogs, pics I want to take, things I need to buy.
This helps so that if I only have 20 or 30 minutes, I can still cross a craft off of my list, or make a quick blog post, either on here or on our IRL blog.

3. One thing that I'm working on is a master list of cleaning items. For the past 2 or 3 months, I've been adding every single item I ever do, from dusting fans to sweeping the garage floor...you name it. I'm working on adding them to an excel sheet so that I can ensure things are getting done on a semi-regularly basis.

I also think this will help with the whole, "I feel like I just mopped yesterday," when in actuality it's been 2 1/2 weeks! I think having it all organized will be a great tool.

4. Keep up. Laundry, dishes, that dreaded mail pile. All of those things have such a tendency to snowball. It's sooo much easier to keep up with each of them nightly or every 2 days as opposed to putting it off and off, and then you're under a pile of dirty socks.

5. I think J and I do a pretty good job of balancing one another. If he cooks, I clean the dishes. If I put Wren to bed, he cleans her bottles. If he does diaper laundry, I do her clothes. I know I'm lucky because he is such an active and involved dad and husband, but I don't think it should be an option. We both work hard. We both deserve to enjoy Wren and our time with her. I appreciate that we have a good balance.

6. At the end of the day, I think it's important to remember that it's okay to have a house that is LIVED in. We don't live inside a magazine. It can be really easy to get overwhelmed and beat yourself up over not having completed every single thing. I have just decided that if I truly do what I can, think about how I spend my time, and remember that my family time is FIRST priority, then all will be fine.

What do you think...do you have any other tips you can share? I'd love to hear them, I'm always trying to be better about balancing the million little pieces of life!

6 comments:

  1. I like how you wrote this one! I'm a huge listmaker! I buy index cards just for making lists and little notes. I can only imagine how much more work it would be to get things done while being a working mommy.

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  2. I love that magazine pile! lol I had to cancel pretty much all my magazines :( which means that I have no idea about the latest fashion anymore! hahaha they just made a mess so I got rid of them.
    Great list...I think it's all a balancing act. I'm with you..at the ned of the day I just need time to sit. It's great you give yourself that time!

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  3. Most of my magazines have been torn or chewed on! LOL!! I think your list is pretty good. Keeping up with things is great advice! If I let the laundry go an extra day it's soooo much more work for some reason. And at least cutie Wren goes down at 7pm. My guy is up until 8:30-9pm most nights...and wakes at 6am (or earlier lately)! Oh sleep, how I miss you! LOL!!

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  4. What a great list, thanks for sharing! Prioritizing - so very important!

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  5. Great tips! I make lists too. But paper lists seem to multiply and get lost in my purse (which you don't want to see mine either). I now use post it notes on iGoogle. That way I can update my list from my desk at work, and then update it on my phone while I'm out, and then at my personal computer when I'm home. I always have access to my list and its only in ONE place. I also use Google calendar to plan/keep track of weekend activities I want to accomplish. Yeah, what I'm basically saying is that Google rocks for this mom! But everybody knows that I guess.

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  6. Thanks for the comment on my blog, and the link! What a great list. I'm definitely going to take some notes and use your suggestions!

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