Balancing it All: Pencil it In and Make a Trade

So clearly this is not me, but I wouldn't be mad if it were. Yoga is all about balance. Someday I'll do a Warrior 3 (or is that 4?) on a rock in nature...

So clearly this is not me, but I wouldn’t be mad if it were. Yoga is all about balance. Someday I’ll do a Warrior 3 (or is that 4?) on a rock in nature…

As moms we have a full time job of raising our little ones. Tack working outside the home, marriage, fitness, a social life and some down time (what else is on your list?) and you’ve got some serious scheduling challenges. Far too often things like fitness, social lives and down time get tossed to the side in order to schedule in all that needs to happen to raise children, work, keep up a marriage, and keep the household in some sort of cleanliness and order. Assuming all the vital parts of our children’s and our lives get taken care of, does it matter that moms don’t always get an opportunity to take care of ourselves? Should we buy into the martyrdom of motherhood?

In short yes, it does matter, and no, we don’t have to nor should we become martyrs to motherhood. If we are to give our children are best then we have to be at our best. Being at the top of our game means not giving into the idea that for the foreseeable future our physical, spiritual and mental states will inevitably go by the wayside. What makes this such a challenge is that in the short term it’s easier to live a half-life and give our children our mediocre. It’s easier to just complain about our selfless lives with no intention of improvement, to grab quick fast food, sleep in and not workout, and muddle through the day with no schedule or direction.

So raise your hand if you want to fit more into your day. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a working mom, a work at home mom, or some combination of all three, we all want to fit more into our day. Maybe you want to eat healthier, workout more consistently, pick back up a hobby you left off, spend more time with your husband, whatever it might be, here’s your solution: Pencil it in and make a trade off.

Pencil it in: The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline. It’s never going to happen if you don’t schedule it into your day and make it a point to do it. Ya, of course there are those big dreams, climb Mt. Everest, run a marathon, go help orphans in Africa. But your goals, what you want out of your daily life, those dreams are just as important. Make it a point to put it in as part of your daily schedule. If you want your family to eat healthier, make time each day for meal prep and once a week for meal planning. Is it always going to work out? No. There will be days when you get one carrot sliced and all hell breaks loose, but there will also be the days when you can get three meals prepped, or a full workout in, or whatever you’ve allotted that time for. Consistency is key. Whether you can do it for five minutes or an hour, pencil it in and do it.

Make a trade off: We’re busy moms, we rarely have chunks of free time. So if you’re putting something new into your schedule you’re going to have to make room for what was there before. Don’t fall into the “I don’t have enough time in the day” trap, we all have the same 24 hours. I wanted to fit in a good solid 45 minute to an hour long workout. After E eats her breakfast she is happy to play on her own for about an hour. I used to use this time to get house work done, call clients and get emails in order. I knew if I were to replace that with a workout I’d have to make a trade off. My trade? No more sitting down to breakfast and a couple cups of coffee. From the moment E and I are downstairs my day begins. Chores are done, emails are answered and a list of the days To Dos is created while I chug down some coffee and grab bites of peanut butter on toast. It’s not ideal but it’s well worth the trade.

What are you going to pencil in this week and what will you trade off? Mine is spending more quiet time in mediation and prayer. The trade off? Getting up before E does, meaning less sleep. I know it will really really suck the first few days but it will be so worth it for a more positive mental state!




2 thoughts on “Balancing it All: Pencil it In and Make a Trade

  1. Writing things on my to-do list definitely helps me make them more of a priority…having a hubby who’s great with kids and doesn’t mind being left with them now and then makes a world of difference too for taking care of “me time” without feeling guilty!

    • Anna that is so important, having some kind of child care available. Even if it means spending more money, I say if you don’t have a second set of hands, hire one and take care of you!
      And yes, I would be lost without my to do list, or at least way less productive!

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