Have you declared this the year of “balance”? Doesn’t that sound so good? And I mean, what mom doesn’t use this word in reference to a goal in her life? Ring a bell?

Work/home balance. Marriage/kids balance. Self-care/responsibility balance. We throw these phrases around like everyone has it figured out, however, I suspect pretty much no one does. I don’t know about you, but for me, any of these scenarios is a ridiculous oxymoron- right along with jumbo shrimp and clearly confused. If you have a plan to make this your most balanced year yet… please read on…

Here’s how it goes when I think I can orchestrate balance in my life – I wake up with this long to do list of all the things, I stretch, contemplate the list, grab my favorite pretty pen, and add “be perfect” to the top. As my day goes on, the more I strive to be “balanced,” the more stressed out I feel as I realize all the balls I’m dropping along the way. So not only am I failing at my list, I am also failing at keeping it all harmonious and balanced. bleh. 

Because that is what this elusive idea of balance seems to point to… that when I figure it all out- when I mix the right chore routine, with the right discipline method, and find the perfect life planner with that color-coded calendar system, and I organize all the papers and I fold all the laundry (and put it all away)… when I Pin (and implement) that “simple” clean-a-little-bit-of-your-house-everyday routine, and I plan all the meals, and I follow up with all the phone calls, and schedule play dates for all the kids and coffee dates with all the friends and date dates with the husband… AND continue to do this every dang day, then and only then will I “be balanced” and therefore not stressed. 

However, this is called perfectionism, and try as I might, I know it is unattainable. Yet, when I ultimately and quickly fail- I beat myself up and blame it on not being “balanced” enough. What the heck is up with that?  

Here is what I have realized- Feeling balanced more often than not depends on circumstances and my ability to juggle them. Circumstances and my circus-like juggling skillz is not where the joy in this life hangs out. Circumstances are many times outside of my control. I attempt to control them anyway, of course. Sometimes I manage too, and perhaps I feel a sense of “balance”. You know, those rare “I’m rocking this mom thing” moments.  More often though, it is a total [email protected]# show and I feel like I’m failing at all the things and then tell myself if I only did a better job of “balancing” my life, I wouldn’t feel so crazy. How unfair.

My beautiful mommas, I beg you to stop clawing your way through your days in search of “balance” dependent on circumstances, and start striving for the following DESPITE your circumstances: 

Peace.

Joy.

Gratitude.

Serenity.

Grace. So much grace mommas. (and mostly for yourself)

Let go of the “when I just…” “if only…” “if I could…”—the grass is greener syndrome is real and hard to break free from. Keep fighting those thoughts and replacing them with “I am enough” “I can find joy here” “I am thankful for…” “I won’t compare myself to others.” 

When you let go of unmet expectations of yourself and others, you find the freedom to accept circumstances the way they are and find the joy in those in-between spaces. In-between loads of laundry, phone calls, and tantrums. It’s always been there, you just have to stop juggling for a second and look for it. 

And maybe, just maybe, you will find room for a little more organization, or exercise, or that overdue coffee date with a dear friend. 

May you have joy, peace, gratitude, serenity, and grace.  But not balance, bc that, my friends, is only a myth.

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