Hi, I’m Raina, and I’m addicted to taking on new projects. When I was a kid I always wanted to be everything when I grew up (in third grade alone I was spouting off my plans to be a lawyer, doctor, and a Mom… meh, one out of 3 ain’t bad, right?) 😉 I’ve always kept that drive to continuously learn and grow… or maybe more accurately it’s more of an addiction to doing everything. Case in point: you can catch me around the holidays crafting my toddler’s “shared snack” for preschool into theme-appropriate shapes late into the evening. Anyways…
Working outside the home, being a Mom to two girls aged 1.5 and 3.5, attempting to keep this little space afloat, pursuing a side hobby as a Pilates instructor, and being a wife to what can only be defined as a serial entrepreneur (think many business, much work), I’ve often found myself in conversations about how I “do it all”. Although I’m flattered (and on many occasions it has actually been ME asking others this same question!) I certainly don’t see myself this way or have the magic answer.
What I am learning is the answer is in fact the exact opposite of the question itself: I don’t. Today I’m sharing five ways I find balance in Motherhood.
Focus rather than multi-task. There used to be (is it over yet?) this intense pressure to become a whiz at doing everything, all at once. Don’t get me wrong. I can still carry a conversation with a baby on my hip while making dinner, playing with my three year old, and probably five other things. I’ve got mad multi-tasking skills. And, it is a skill to master, because you’ll need it some days. But to live it isn’t the ideal we should be striving for. I’ve started focusing on only the task at hand and it is making a big difference. When I get home from work and it’s family time, I don’t take my phone out of my bag. We play and my only focus is being with the kids. Just an hour will go by and we are all so happy and filled up with love from short, yet focused, time together. When I’m with my friends or hubby, I do the same. Be present for whatever it is you are doing in that moment. Try it.
If there is something I love doing and I add it to my plate, its usually both doable and worth it. And yes, sometimes this leads to me being in a self-induced state of overwhelm, but it will be short lived (and the next tip will help with this 😉 ). If there is something you have a passion for, the time will come. I don’t know why or how, it just seems to work out this way. And that’s ok by me. Although it seems counter intuitive, in some ways the more I do, the more time I have, simply because the way I’m using my time. Trust it.
Building off #2, there are some things to leave behind and choose not to do. Obligations. Events you don’t want to attend. Activities you don’t have time for. Things you don’t enjoy. People that make you uncomfortable. Yes, we all have obligations in some form, but there are likely a few things you can take out of your day. Your time is YOUR time, so feel free to say no! It’s kind of liberating, actually. I like to apply this tip when it comes to doing things with the kids. If the activity or event is overly complicated or too far to get to, I know our time will be more enjoyed in our own backyard. Choose what you decide not to give your time to. Own it.
Make some time for yourself. Whether it’s reading, reflection, time with friends, or exercise. Whatever down-time or personal-time looks like to you, add it in as you can. It’s true that if Mama ain’t happy nobody is happy. Bonus- if you are outside you will feel completely refreshed. I love going for a walk with the dog or doing Pilates. And, recognize your season. Sometimes getting away isn’t ideal when you’ve got little babes at home, or maybe you spend a lot of time taking kids to activities. Your time will certainly look different depending on the current season of life you’re in, and that’s okay. Find something that fits and makes you happy and take the time. Love it.
This is one that I am working on constantly. And I’ll admit, I’m not great at it (me cleaning out closet: “but what if I want to wear that again for (insert name of event I definitely won’t wear it to)”? I have slowly been working on minimizing stuff, because stuff is taking over my life. I’m trying to simplify in all areas of my life, from the toys we have to the meals I plan. Anyone else ever get lost on Pinterest attempting to come up with a meal plan? Me too. I end up making meals that take far too long or even worse– no one enjoys. I’ve started using the ingredients I have on hand and the things in the cupboard and creatively and quickly throwing together simple meals. Most things in our fridge and cupboards are healthy, so what if I didn’t try so hard to make it complicated? To my surprise, everyone is eating these simplified meals and meal prep time (and stress!) has gone down significantly. Similarly the kids play better when there are less toys to play with. Let it go.
Each of our days may look different, but we all seek some form of balance. And this Mom gig, it’s not always easy. So, whatever your season and wherever you are, I hope you, too, are finding balance to enjoy the moments. xo