A candle, my laptop, a nice glass of wine, all ideal when sitting down to write a new blog post. Ideal but certainly not my reality. Over the years I have tried this blog thing on and off, all while trying to balance life with being a parent, a wife, and working. I have struggled with being consistent because finding the time in between my responsibilities that I can dedicate to creating new content has been so hard. Before I decided to go back to work I was a stay at home mom which I thought would make blogging a breeze for me. Instead I found myself torn between working on my blog, or my home/family stuff. In a party of 6 there is always something to do. There's laundry to put away, dishes to do, something to dust, something to fix, clean, or drop off. Mentally I would schedule time to stop and work, but never really did it because I would allow other tasks to spill over into that time slot. I once read a blog post from a mom who wrote about how her creative time was so important to her that she didn't mind putting off house work to devote her time to her craft. Unfortunately for me my brain will not allow me to work that way. If I sit down to sew or to blog I can't see any kind of a mess around me. If I know there are dishes in my sink or fingerprints on my coffee table my creativity is blocked.
Ive always rejected the idea of getting a house keeper because, well basically I just didn't grow up that way. I come from a grandmother who had five children, a house full of grandchildren, cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and kept a clean/organized house. I grew up being taught that a woman takes care of her own home and that it should always be perfect. Obviously it could never be perfect especially with children but I believe that is the standard the women in my family hold each other to because even when my home is spotless I'm still called out in the family gossip. God forbid I put off doing the dishes to work on a project I'l be the source of someone's subliminal Facebook post. When I really think about it though I don't remember my grandmother taking any real time for herself until we were all older. I remember how much she enjoyed bowling and sewing, she taught me how to make clothes for my dolls when I was just seven years old. I spent Thursday nights tagging along with her to the bowling alley where she would so modestly dominate the game. Other than that my grandmother spent all of her time taking care of her home & the family. I guess I should think about getting that house keeper. Now that I am older with a family of my own I wish I could ask her about her life then, what her dreams were, what she really wanted to be. Obviously she grew up in a different time where women were supposed to marry young and start families, but I often wonder did she ever feel the way I sometimes feel. Thankful for my beautiful family but also wanting to be my creative, productive self at the same time. Feeling guilty for not feeling 100% fulfilled with just motherhood but also needing my own career and projects.
For years I've struggled with trying to find this balance, a few times I've felt like I had it down only to realize I was still dropping the ball in some areas of my life. I found myself needing to take a step back, more than once. Adding work back into the equation, now with four children required balance more than ever. I knew giving up my blog was not an option for me whether I had 1 reader or 100 because it's a creative outlet that truly makes me happy, so I had to figure something out.
I decided to educate myself more on self care which I wrote about in my previous blog post, and time management because I feel like these are the areas where I need to gain control in order to be successful. I have read numerous books on the subjects which I will be sharing in the "Books Worth Reading" section of my blog soon.
Time management was and sometimes still is a problem for me which causes a great source of stress. What I have had to train myself on is separating the meaningful from the urgent and planning my day around that, so that I am not causing myself additional stress with feelings of guilt, or failure due to missed deadlines or family time. I also had to lighten up on myself, this may have been my biggest need because I tend to beat myself up and take on others criticism as well. It took some time to realize that I am actually doing a lot, I have to give myself credit for the things I have accomplished rather than beating myself up for things I haven't finished YET. I also had to realize that every single person who has played a part in trying to put me down could never do anything I'm doing or be who I am. This is all still a work in progress but at this point I feel closer to balance than before. I decided to share this for any parent who feels the tilt, and hopefully reading what I'm doing to find my balance will inspire you to take an active step in finding your own. This shit is hard, I think its ok to be honest about that no matter how it looks on the gram no one has it together all the time.
Thanks for reading,
Photos by: @kdd.photos