The Surprising Secret To “Having It All” Without Driving Yourself Insane

Don’t you get tired of hearing about work/life balance and how to organize your time for your self or treat yourself with Extreme Self Care?

Well if you are a new or recent parent for the first time, or the second time, or for the 3rd, 4th, or more (what were you thinking???). Balance? Me time, sex time, fun time? What’s that?

Okay truthfully, even though it seems worth having kids and the times you really smile and enjoy them is precious. But they are demanding…Did no one tell you??? It’s important to love your kids and show them how to handle life’s stresses, but if you are going insane, you need a new plan and a new understanding of this whole Balance thing.

Does it seem like your life as parent, is a constant juggling act? Here’s the surprising secret… is!!! Professionals take years to master juggling objects but you can’t practice with your kids (they’re too heavy), or your time, or your energy…those are not even visible…having time and energy are concepts that are invented but we know them when we have them.

Years ago, I attended a Cirque de Soleil traveling show with horses in addition to the usual strange characters and equipment in such an event. I was in awe and at intermission, I mentioned to one of the performers how impressed I was with their unbelievable balance they achieved when jumping onto horses while juggling balls or swords. While I was buying a shirt, he looked down at me (he was on stilts) and told me I obviously did not pay close attention. “We weren’t balanced….we were in a constant state of motion…balance is momentary, a center we come back to and start from!!!”

WOW…what an insight. Balance is actually a moment in time of purposeful motion…a center one returns to, a place to pause,a fulcrum. Have you ever sat on a teeter-totter with your kids, or stood in the middle on the fulcrum? Don’t you realize that to balance you have to keep making adjustments? That is the secret sauce!

Even airplanes are off track 90% of the time as they are making constant adjustments to get back on the charted course.

So here’s the deal. You have a good chance…a better than most chance, of feeling less stressed and less overwhelmed in your life of a parent, IF you find some ways to center, to come to a place of momentary balance.

And if you don’t know what that is or how it feels you might want to learn any or all of the following:

  1. Start your day, and end your day with some sort of mediation, or mindfulness activity with silence or music…take a purposeful pause. This builds up you mental and emotional agility
  2. Enlist help from other parents in your circle, or your family. Make arrangements for ‘no children times” and then do the same for them. This can be for part of a day or evening or for a weekend away.
  3. Create a visual cue of a balance point, a centering image, and when you feel like you are about to blow….go there in your mind, breathe slowly and calmly. And by the way, this then will become something you model for your kids stress management as well.

So don’t beat yourself up because you cannot achieve that work/life balance on the covers of many shelf-help books, or magazines at the checkout counter. Care for your self, care for your spouse, and care for your children, and make sure you can forgive your self for dropping some balls while juggling…you’ll get better!

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