I’m a right one for lists. I mean, it’s not a bad thing; they have their place, and a very treasured one at that. But sometimes my lists get carried away with themselves and I accumulate lists of lists. Does anyone else do that? Then it becomes a bit high maintenance to keep a track of it all unless you’re completely on the ball. And I challenge anyone with a small baby to be completely on the ball… It definitely counts me out.
So when, back in December during that gloriously lazy week between Christmas and New year where you can’t help but reflect on the year ahead, my head was a fuzzy mess with ideas, plans and dreams. It was so intricately detailed and complicated in my mind that by the time I found paper to write it down, I’d forgotten half of it.
If I couldn’t keep it in my mind-frame for that short amount of time, there was fat chance of it growing into something throughout the course of a year. I scribbled down what I could remember and thought on it some more. I needed a plan; a plan to be intentional with 2017. Time moves too fast, I didn’t want the next twelve months to just pass me by.
That’s when I realised. There was a common theme, weaving through all the jumbled words on my scratty piece of paper. Whether it was linked to my dreams as a wife, a mama, a writer or even just a woman in my own right, it all boiled down to one thing.
- “I do nothing but clean the house” Vs “My house is never clean”
- “I miss having time to myself” Vs “I’m the worlds worst mother because I’ve not given my children my undivided attention”
- “I wish I had the time to write more” Vs “All the children are in bed and the housework is done but my brain couldn’t string a sentence together if it tried”
I want to put everything I am into being the mama that my children derserve. I want to throw myself into being Mrs C and enjoy a healthy marriage. I want a tidy and organised home. I want to look after myself, mind and body. I want to write.
But the thing is, I try to do it all at once. I try to write in the evenings when I’m making time to hang out with my mister. I try and get some cleaning done when I’m holding/cuddling/playing/pacifying/fill-in-the-blank-and-add-it-to-the-list my baby boy. I try to listen to my girls talk about their day at school when I’m dashing around the kitchen making tea. And whilst it’s assumed of all women, I’ve never been much of a multi-tasker. In fact I’m awful at it. If food is involved it will inevitably get burnt. Ask my husband. Or maybe don’t get him started.
I just need to make better friends with balance. To be okay with giving my all to my family and still make guilt-free time for me. To show respect to this body that bore me three precious babies by fueling it with good food and still enjoy cake. To get my writing fix and then put it down to be really present with my husband the rest of the time.
The guy that sits on the fence gets a bad rep for being wishy washy. The world tells you to go hard or go home, and that there’s no space for middle ground. But the older I get, the more I’m realising how many shades of grey there are (I don’t mean in that way, cheeky) and how limiting any form of extremist lifestyle can be. Work too hard you will look back on a scarcity of happy memories. Play too hard and you won’t see your dreams become a reality. It doesn’t have to be everything-right-now or nothing-at-all.
Balancing what you want with what you need. Balancing privileges with responsibility. Balancing the time you invest in others with the time you invest in yourself. And there be the challenge.
My first step to grabbing balance by the… neck, is to take control of this blog. I’m not going to lie, I would love to sit down and write every day. It’s my self indulgent happy place. But I have responsibilities as a mama, wife and home-keeper that need my attention too, and those people are not just another happy place – they’re my everything. I’m also bloomin’ cream crackered because my baby boy has decided sleep is for losers. All this wrapped together has left me wanting to write more but either not having the time or energy to sit down and do it. So I’ve made a deal with myself. One blog post a week for this season of my life, however long this season may last. No more, no less. I’ll prioritise time to get this done, because it’s something that makes me me, so it’s important. And then, when it’s done, I’ve got a bit of writing out of my system, I’ll let go it and enjoy all the other parts of my world.
Do you find the whole balance thing easy? Where would you like to see more balance in your life?
Mrs C x