Balancing Life -Who are you kidding ?

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Balancing life -My list.

Everyday I get asked “How do you do it all, how do you get everything done?” How do you balance your life?  Want to know my secret? OK here goes.

I  have two children, Mr 6 and Miss 15. I  have a husband and we’ve been married 18 years. I care for my mother who lives with us and has Alzheimer’s. I am a child hood behaviour consultant, parent counsellor and teenage mentor, run my own business, I  study, in the midst of writing a book, plus the usual motherhood stuff each day brings. I am confident in presuming you too have a lot on your plate, all mothers do.

Balancing life – My Secret

See this photo, this woman is balancing, looks hard doesn’t it? Well balancing is hard. So here is my secret on how I do it all, quite simply I don’t. I do what I can each day. I stopped trying Balancing life because it actually stressed me out trying to find a balance.

Some days work can consume me, other days I’m concerned about my mother and completing assignments. At times, I’m obsessed that I don’t have enough time for writing ( and there is so much I want to write about ) and I haven’t got anything in for dinner. I am a serial to do list writer, four notebooks, plus to do’s on my phone and ideas on scraps of paper. I even write a sub to do list out of my main to do list and have not one but two giant white boards.

Balancing life – No thanks, I’d rather have passion

My favourite word is passion and I do as much as I can with passion.  My family are  my  passion and I try my hardest to show them this. It may not be able to spend heaps of time with them everyday, but I make sure the time I spend with them is fun and I try and ignore the voices in my head telling me I still have things on my list to do. We will all, always have things to do.

Child behaviour is my other passion and assisting the amazing families I work with. I’m pretty much on call 24/7.  I take on emergency cases and phone consults on a daily basis. At times it means resheduling a well planned day to fit in a family in distress.

No matter what others say about me I am a mother just plodding along, many of you have a lot more to juggle and deal with. I get sad, I get angry, I cry and have a sarcastic sense of humour and I’m a little partial to a glass of red, G&T and bubbles.

Balancing life  – A condition in which different elements are equal

If you  are stressed  about finding the balance in your life, then stop.  If you think about it; balance means you would be at a standstill , picture a seesaw or some scales with equal weights on each end- it would be still.

Balance is unachievable because we are not dealing with inanimate factors in our lives. Life is what you are doing now. It is about juggling and changing and adapting to whatever the day brings. You can prioritise what you want to work on. Whether it be yourself, your kids, your marriage, your laundry, your business,  do a little on each one or focus on just one. It’s up to you.

I am fortunate that in studying and researching behaviour I can rationalise a fair bit of my own emotions and step outside my sadness, anger, and crying. Although I still have days, where my rationale flies out the window and I go with the crazy flow inside my head. Spending most of the day telling it to “Shut up!”

Other days I try change my outlook by ignoring the to do list and going off to spend time with my children- they are very grounding, or spending a few minutes in he bathroom (it’s my second office), reading some blogs, tweeting or on facebook,  there is normally someone around willing to send a virtual hug, or having a crappy day too.

My thoughts on Balancing life

It’s simple, if trying to get balance is hard, then don’t do it. I know there are heaps and heaps of experts and manuals and guides that all talk about balance, but is it possibly just talk? I don’t think that anyone of us can follow the balancing life script perfectly because all our lives, needs and issues are different.

What  are you taking away from my ramblings, hopefully that I muddle through in my own way and I try not to beat myself up trying to find a balance or when things don’t go to plan or get done. I’ve stopped feeling guilty (most of the time)  when I feel overwhelmed and need to have a break.

I do what you can, at the end of the day I am happy when I have put my son to bed and spent time reading with him and I’ve had a chat with my daughter and we have laughed together about our day. Spent time with my mum singing a Spanish song and giving her the thumbs up (it makes her giggle) and connected with my hubby with  a good night kiss.

These are my priorities that I endeavour to do each day. These are the things that keep me ‘balanced’  and real inside. Not having the stress of balancing life is a weight I got rid off and feel much better for.

I’ll carry on with my lists but I don’t try to balance them, as it does make me feel better having it down on paper and I know that slowly but surely I start to tick things off, now my long term to do list- well that’s another blog altogether.

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Nathalie Brown

Child Behaviour Consultant at Easy Peasy Kids
Child Behaviourist and researcher. Creator of "Less tantrums. More smiles". I look at the bigger picture and think outside the box when working with children and their behaviour. Their world is different. As adults we sometimes forget this. Happiness Creator in my spare time. Eater of chocolate and cake.

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Comments

  1. Heidi says:

    What a great post. Thank you for writing this. It is just what I needed to read x

  2. This is an absolutely fabulous post! The eternal struggle for women, how to find balance amid the juggling act of life. I’m with you, I can’t possibly DO EVERYTHING that needs to be done. I pick & choose my priorities, and my darling loved ones are the most important things in life. But in that balance, I realise I need to do more ‘me’ stuff too. That’s the trickiest one to incorporate. But I’m getting there xx

  3. Perfect hun!
    I think i needed to hear this today i seem to be constantly fighting those voices of oh but you should be doing this family is the most important
    Thanks for an awesome post im taking away alot from it
    xxx

  4. “It is about juggling and changing and adapting to whatever the day brings.” – this is so true. Great post.

  5. This is a great article – as a working mum I find it impossible to balance everything, I just do the best I can. It isn’t always enough but I try to recognize it’s my best effort and try not to beat myself up too much that it’s not perfect.

  6. Vanessa King says:

    Fantastic post, just what I needed today!

  7. Catherine says:

    Thank you again for another gentle reminder that we are human beings achieving amazing feats! Now just to learn to accept that juggling and balancing life isn’t everything – I’ll add it to the list! Thanks for the wonderful words.

  8. Well I am Mrs balance and can do it most of the time. I get up early and I stay up latish to get everything I want to get done done. My friends think I am super organised. Without balance I fall over and that would be no good for anyone. So work rest and play in moderation works for me. Good blog. I don’t think balancing is easy to do.

  9. Alison says:

    Thanks so much for putting this out there – sometimes us mums need to remind ourselves that we can do ANYthing, not EVERYthing!

    Your post was very timely and helped me make a decision I was struggling to make – thank you!

  10. Thank you for posting this Natalie.

  11. SSSSSSSS NNNNNNNN AAAAAAAA PPPPPPPPP
    Ok, SNAP!
    Oh dear Nathalie. We are sooooooooo alike. Yes. And want to know another reason why?
    Yesterday I posted about BALANCE.
    My post was inspired by a word or two from Wanderlust’s Kristin about Balance…and that perhaps it was found in retirement………………and that set me thinking…….ummmmmm
    well. you can guess.
    But I just LOVED your take …don’t get stressed about the NOT balancing. Love that notion.
    Hugs….D XX

  12. How true!! Fabulous post. Balance is an enigma that lives just in front of my fingertips – constantly!! My brother and I suspect our mother may be heading down the same path as yours. I’m so hoping not. Hard to get your mind around. Thanks again for the lovely post. Caz

  13. Thankyou. Really needed to read this.

  14. Love it. Thanks for sharing. Pat on our backs. :)

  15. Wendy says:

    Yay finally it is out there !!!! :)

  16. I love the analogy of the seesaw and that if we are balanced we would be at a standstill. Super!

  17. adapting… I am the queen of that shizzle.

    Sometimes.

    x

  18. Chantal Williams says:

    Love it! Just what I needed to read :)

  19. Begen Norris says:

    I actually have been told something similar by a mother of 5! she just takes each day as it comes and decides what’s a priority at that moment in time.

    Great advice, I will try to just be more present and be happy for my achievements and to not stress about the things I hadn’t done that day!

  20. Tracy A says:

    What a great post , this juggling act is something I can relate to . My house is so stressful right now . I plan on reading your site a bit more , I have a child with ADHD & I can use some advice on your site to help be less stressed .

  21. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for posting this awesome topic!! I am a mum of two, miss almost 5 and mr almost 3. My mr has special needs so most days I feel a great deal of GAS about what I haven’t done for him during the day, let alone some 1 on 1 time with my miss, plus then working out what’s for dinner, or tripping over the overflowing laundry basket! I will try this newfound strategy of letting the ‘agenda’ go and just try to do a bit of stuff for the kids, other stuff as I am able.. Gish, this was a long reply! I also aspire to start my own blog at some stage (in all of my spare time!?) and you have made me feel like it’s possible.. Thank you!

  22. “Balancing” I’ve always felt that -truly that word brings feelings of pressure to fit into the perfect box?everything must be balanced. Truth be told, mine hasn’t been for a while, because of being unable to squeeze in family time often. Hubby and I have been working towards something,ultimately to benefit my family and it has all been for a good purpose and It’s not forever. I do feel guilty sometimes but when I realise we’ve almost reached our goal,it’s worth it. Sometimes you make sacrifices and in the end it’s worth it, even if ” balance” is thrown off temporarily.

  23. Nice Post!
    Now i know how to make a balance in life.

  24. Melissa K says:

    Thanks for the great post, just the advice that I needed.
    life can get a bit overwhelming at times can’t it.

    • It can be very overwhelming, I think my list of small stuff gets longer and longer but I feel better for not “sweating the small stuff” :)

  25. Omg yes!! i have so many mum friends who get “anxiety” from play dates,. So much pressure they put on themselves to clean house, swept floor nice clothes etc. I I do understand but I have realised that i can only do what i can do.. and I am so much happier for it :)

  26. Karlene Forrest says:

    Yep, giving up the guilt is the best place to start for sure….!

  27. Lauren says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I definitely needed to hear this, I am constantly trying to do it all and beating myself up when I don’t live up to my own expectations. I am going to stop trying to be superwoman and just do what I can with what I have :-) and if at the end of the day my kids know I love them more than anything else than that’s enough for me.

    • We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves and like you say when our kids know we love them, that’s the most important thing. xx

  28. Wish I had read this last year! As you can tell by my post yesterday, I completely agree. Love the word PASSION!

  29. Oh I am so loving this one! And I cant wait to show hubby…he keeps at me to find balance in my lifestyle. Well the more he tells me to find balance, the more he goes on and on and on about it, the more unbalanced I become! I get so stressed that i cant find any happiness within my life.
    And to me that is all that matters ~ being happy doing what I love to do :)
    Gosh I so love it that you have your Mum living with you – I am an aged care nurse by trade…and I used to work in the Special Care unit. It was good to see the residents who were happy because their family was visiting them. It would be even better if they could live with famiy members! Making your Mum smile with the Thumbs up – gorgeous :)

    • Lisa hi :) I felt much better when I stopped trying to balance and focus my energies on where they are needed at any particular time. Unfortunately after 4 years with me, mum is now in palliative care. I m very grateful to aged care nurses you do the most amazing work Nx

  30. Couldn’t agree more. Balancing involves finding one point and staying there. Why would you want that?

  31. Love this post. I’ve been searching for and advocating for balance for a really long time now (well since my babies were born) and given a few workshops on the topic – and have always said that balance is hard to find and never stays for long! This gives another perspective and is really well written, have just shared over on my FB page, thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing. I had to give up on balance as it doesn’t work for me. Somedays my focus is on one thing another day on what eve needs dealing with . x

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