Thursday, September 26, 2013

Balancing Act

Step right up, folks and be prepared to watch the most spectacular balancing act of all time! A balancing act that is like no other! In one hand she juggles the schedules of all her children and husband and in the other hand whips up breakfast, lunch and dinner. And in the other...yes folks she has more than two hands...she cleans...she dusts and she vacuums like no other. Who is she: your mother!!!! (The crowd erupts in grand applause).

 Daily life as a mother can seem like an amazing balancing act. If only we did get that grand applause everyday. But sometimes it goes without notice. That is ok. We don't need constant praise, but a little appreciation bouquet of flowers would be nice, right? When we leave the hospital we are taught a few things like: how to feed your child and how to change them. But, beyond that we are on our own. There are many resources like books and other mama's advice but every ones schedule, personality, beliefs and children are different. It can seem so overwhelming. There are many decisions you have to make and you want to do what is best. At times we may fail and other times we succeed. Right off the bat we need to make decisions like Natural birth or Epidural, cloth or regular diapers, breast milk or formula, shots or no shots and on and on.

I remember going to register for my baby shower at Babies R Us. Holy moly! That was the most overwhelming and stressful event I have ever experienced. I felt my mommy hood was on the line. What if I chose the wrong bottles? What if I chose something that was not organic? What if the stroller I picked out was not safe and would eventually be recalled? I can't help but think of way back when before internet and before Babies R US. What did those mamas worry about? Probably Rubella or Scarlett fever! Or not having an Epidural. Oh the horror!!! But, hey they had no idea what they were missing. It just seems like we are so over inundated by the mass amount of stuff and ways to parent. While scrolling through Pinterest I see all these great sources for making my own play dough, making homemade fruit snacks without all that yucky stuff in them, learning activities to help with your child's motor skills...and on and on and on. This pretty much sums up my feeling as I see this:

It is easy to try to measure up to other "Mums". You have the "Healthy Mama". You know that one that shops at Whole Foods and makes her own baby food from organic vegetables and uses only organic baby products that have a magical fruit found only in the Artic where they are harvested by hand and whose company also gives back to help fight against GMOs. Or the Active/Activity Mama..the one who is constantly on the go to Disneyland, schedules regular play dates, has all 4 children in different sports/music lessons and so on. Oh and we can't forget the "Holy Mama". The mama who has her 2 year old reciting all ten commandments, involved in AWANAS, MOPS and VBS. And finally, the "Educational Mama" who has her child reading by age three, writing their name and making all the other Preschoolers look like failures:). I am saying this all facetiously but in reality all these mama's are doing what is best for their children They are sacrificing there time chopping up all those fruits and vegetables. Sacrificing their time to take little Jimmy to Soccer practice and then running over to drop of the next child at guitar lessons...all the while not having time for their own activities and wouldn't change a thing.

As mothers we are all unique in our own ways. I do not have it all together. Neither do any of us. But what I have learned and keeps me motivated is that I need to be present in my child's life. I need to be engaged. Continually comparing myself to other moms who appear to have it together will get me nowhere because chances are they are doing the same thing. We are a nation of busy people. Just this week I had to work my normal 40 hours and week and then on top of that I had to put in 16 hours of OT!!!! I begin to feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. Then Shane got the flu...dundundaaaa. I had to miss work on Monday not making the boss very happy. I was up every hour from 4:30am until 5:30 PM cleaning up puke and doing 5 loads of laundry. He puked on every surface of our home. It was lovely! Luckily, he had puked up so much that it was just water after awhile. He even said to me at one point, "Don't worry Mama that one was just water". Poor kid. I think he could see I was tired. But, guess what I would do it everyday. Which made me thankful for a normally healthy child. Some parents have to take care of a sick child daily. They are the ones that have a true balancing act! No matter what challenges we face they are all worth it. Seeing our children grow into their own. Seeing them learn new things and accomplishing a new task is what it is all about. So be present. Be engaged. If you are a working mom I want to encourage you. It is so hard! Trying to balance work and home life. Something has to fail. Unfortunately at my house it is house cleaning...which may not be that bad of a thing...just kidding. I would tell friends who came over, "Don't look down" referring to my dirty floors. As a working mom there is a lot of guilt that we feel. We miss things like first milestones or events at school. It is hard to be present when you have to work long hours or maybe need to bring work home. I am in a bit of a different situation as I work from home. I am blessed to be here with Shane. I do have to miss somethings at school. The biggest struggle I have is time. Time spent teaching him how to write or reading to him. Taking him to play dates during the day can't happen. I find myself telling him quite often to "hold on" or "wait a sec". Usually I completely have to ignore his requests because I have an obligation to my work. I feel guilty even doing things I love like writing this blog or reading a magazine. I feel like any free time I have belongs to him. No matter if you are a working mom or a stay at home mom two things for sure are that we all need more time and we all fall short.

Don't be discouraged you are doing a great job. Your child may not be able to read, write or tie their shoe but they enjoy random dance sessions with you or a tent set up in the living room. Or maybe they have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches far too often but they get to enjoy music lesson or horseback riding lessons. I love watching all my friends parent. I learn so much from them. Children are a blessing and so are Mamas:).

For a little laugh today: