Life always looks more perfect when we are looking at someone else’s situation. We glance from a far. We only know the headlines about the other person. We only see their house when it’s spick and span ready for entertaining, not when toys are stretched all over the living room and the master bedroom looks like a laundry bomb went off thirty seconds ago. We are missing so many details, so many realities that we forget they are in a three ring circus of life just like we are. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, the busyness that consumes us is undeniable.
The reality is that the every day life of motherhood is a juggling act. Each time I think of this I hear an Amy Grant song from her early 90’s “Heart In Motion” album play in my mind’s radio. “Well, it don’t stop. No, it’s never gonna stop. Why do I have to wear so many things on my head? HATS! One day I’m a mother. One day I’m a lover. What am I supposed to do? HATS! Working for a livin’ all because I’m driven. To be the very best for you.” Does that sum up your life or what? Whether you call it hats, juggling or something else, the word balance is something that is desired.
We are all different and so are the details of our situation. What may be balanced to me is unbalanced to you and vice versa. What is balanced for the season I’m in won’t necessarily work six months from now with the same results so it’s a constant shift and re-evaluation of what is most important and what is best for my family.
I am the mother of a growing, busy, happy, three year old boy. I am a stay at home mom who is also a full-time working-from-home mom. (Thankful for my Mom who lives on the other side of the neighborhood and a church family with a couple homeschooled teenage daughters that live down the street.) Well, except for the days I’m in the recording studio and all the days that I spend traveling the country doing family concerts and leading worship at various church events. My weekends are filled with travel and performances.
My week is filled with a ton of emails, various social media and web posts, conference calls, making decisions and running my business, which is really a ministry making music for kids and families and churches. Somewhere in the week I’m trying to find down time and quality time to spend with my son, because, well, I don’t get weekends. I work on the weekends.
I will be honest, there are times and seasons of the year that it is crazy! Truly crazy and my motto becomes “You only live once so squeeze it in!” I am grateful that my son has lived up to the prayers we prayed before he was born. “That he would love people and go with the flow.” Our life isn’t on a schedule because each week we don’t have two days that are the same.
Are there days that I feel guilty because of the work that needs to be done that prevents me from playing at his every request? Absolutely. Are there days that life feels out of balance? Too many to count. Here’s a short list of ideas to help you find the balance that you and your family need.
1. Stop comparing.
Whether you’re comparing jobs, houses, fashion, or many other things. Give it up. Lay it down. Don’t compare their “headlines” to your “details.” Be who God has called you to be. Love and lead your family according to God’s Word.
2. Cast your cares on Him.
1Peter 5:7- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Stop fighting, worrying and feeling alone. God cares for you. Take Him up on His offer to help and care for you.
3. Let your heart be captivated with the Lord.
It’s amazing the weight that is lifted when you spend time praying, reading the word and singing praises from your heart. If you are overwhelmed I’d highly recommend you dive in to this one right away. Take a deep breath and take some moments to be captivated by the wonder of your Savior.
4. List your priorities.
How does your list of priorities and how you actually spend your time differentiate? Making those two lists match is the goal you need to strive for.
5. What’s your passion?
Do the things that you are passionate about. Don’t stop being you and who God created you to be. It may be how you spend your free time or where you invest in serving your community and church. Discover who God made you to be and be that person. A whole lot of joy, fulfillment and happiness will come from that.
Parents who are balancing a career and raising children, anything you would add to this list?