The balancing act, part I

. September 26, 2012.
Juggling_Mom

Pack lunch, kids to school, sign fieldtrip release, work, meeting, phone call, dog to vet, pick up kids, dinner, laundry and exercise if time allows. Does this sound anything like your daily routine? Do you frequently find your needs falling to the bottom of the to-do list? If you answered emphatically YES, you are not alone. Finding balance while juggling a full plate is not always easy, but finding balance, nonetheless, is essential.

I would be lying to you if I told you I thought motherhood was a breeze. I would also be lying to myself if I thought I had everything balanced perfectly. Many days I feel like a circus clown juggling different roles as a nurse, mother, wife, taxi driver and referee. I constantly look around at other women and find myself asking, “Am I the only one who feels stressed and overwhelmed?” In my quest for balance I have had to prioritize my personal commitments and my family’s full plate.

Balancing priorities
I have become more relaxed about laundry and household chores. I have learned not to lose sleep if there is a dirty dish in the sink. My definition of balance is very different from the images we are bombarded with of modern moms in commercials, TV shows and magazines as they take it all on glamorously. My house would definitely not pass Martha Stewart’s rigorous standards or even the white glove test, but I am at peace with that. I would rather take a walk at the park with the kids or share dinner with my family than sweat over the little things — those details can wait until tomorrow.

So the question remains, how does today’s modern mom find balance in her mind, body and spirit?  When it comes to women’s health and well-being, women often neglect their health while taking care of their family, work and coping with daily stressors. So how can one find balance everyday?

Stress management
Balance can be found in so many different ways. It can be as simple as gardening, chatting with friends, even getting your hair styled, devoting some time to much needed personal attention. Whatever you find that relieves stress, and that you enjoy, can help you find balance. Sometimes I laugh at the moments when I find that elusive balance. I’ve made hair appointments at 7pm midweek, just so I could share dinner beforehand with my family, and I’ve left the salon with soaking wet hair so I could be home to tuck the kids in bed. My balance was feeling good about pampering myself, but still making time to share the moments with my family that are important to me.
It’s important for mothers to remember that their well-being and health can influence the family in so many positive ways. When moms are feeling stressed and they don’t make their personal balance a priority, they struggle with giving 100% to their career, family, faith and health. Women are a pivotal part of a family’s success and health.

Michelle Rowe is a local mom who can juggle reader responses too! To reach her, email editor@toledoparent.com