The Honest Truth About Finding Balance
The Honest Truth About Finding Balance
If you’ve been a reader or listener for a while, you may know that I have like a hundred kids, and I run this community, and I’ve always been the woman on a quest to find a balance. And then it hit me that balance is BS.
I think one of the secrets to life is figuring out there is no such thing as balance.
In fact, even the word makes me upset.
Here’s the truth the way I see it, and the conclusion that I’ve come to: You’re either winning at being a mom and being a wife, and throwing all of your energy into making sure your kids are well taken care of. They take their vitamins, they’re getting the lunches packed, and filling out college applications, you’re taking them on play dates, to soccer practices, folding laundry, tucking them in at night, and telling them how much you love them, and kissing them on the forehead.
You’re either knocking it out of the park doing that, or you’re doing none of the above. You’re sending them to school with Crustables frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some random Goldfish packages that you can find in the back of your pantry. You’re telling them they’ll just find a college that they can go to, and it will do. You’re forgetting their vitamins for the third day in a row, and for soccer practice you can find only one shinguard. And that teacher-parent conference meeting that you had scheduled, you have to reschedule over and over again.
Or you’re doing that… One or the other.
And balance or not, wherever you are today, right now, that’s fine.
You’re not doing all of the above consistently forever.
I just do not believe that. If you are a working mom like me, and you consider yourself employed, whether self-employed or employed by somebody else, forget it. Just forget it. There’s no way that you and I are going to remember the vitamins plus the work, the report, the emails, the telephone calls.
Just take a look at your phones… We have how many voicemails waiting in our inboxes to be responded to? How many text messages with open-ended questions have we not responded to yet? How many emails are just sitting in our inboxes for months? I’m looking in my inbox right now, and there is an email from three months ago that I have just been avoiding and putting off. There’s a gym club membership that I joined thinking, “This is it, 2019, the year I’m going to get rid of that belly fat that I have.” Forget it. It was great for the honeymoon period of the two months that I went consistently, and now you couldn’t pay me enough money to step inside that gym, and I have to cancel my membership, but I just can’t get around to it.
We’re never going to win at everything, balance or not.
We’re never going to be the best employee and the best mom at the same time. You’re either kicking butt at work or kicking butt at motherhood, or none of the above, and you’re just having one of those days.
There are very, very few days in my entire life where I have managed to do everything. My quiet time, my yoga, and my meditation, and my prayers, and my journaling, and my yada yada. My extensive laundry list, plus my self-care time of taking a bath, and putting on my wonderful, soft, extra-warm jammies. And in addition to that, doing bedtime properly. Doing all of the routines, and getting through my organizer and list of to-dos. It ain’t happening. Those days are few and far between, and I am exhausting myself just saying it out loud.
Let’s just do this: Let’s just be grateful, let’s just be happy that we’re alive, that we are breathing.
We’re not even going to worry about blow-drying our hair; let’s just put it wet up in a messy bun, and maybe some lip gloss, and call it a day. When we get ready in the mornings, let’s just get dressed and be proud of ourselves that we actually have clean clothes. We don’t need to worry about them matching. Let’s not worry about looking cute. Let’s just be happy.
If we manage to put food down on the table, who cares where it’s from? I love everyone who has this special diet, sourcing it from natural organic farms, and no GMOs, etc. And that’s great. I will aim for that, but most days, I’m just going to buy the celery that’s on sale, or I’m just going to Uber Eats the darn meal, because I have to live. I am going to just manage with the least amount of resistance possible.
So, although we have these goals, and we try for balance, and we try for all organic, and we try to stretch out and do yoga, and we try to do our mindful meditation, and we try to be these excellent employees who achieve inbox zero, and we walk around with our daily planners and our to-do lists and all that.
Come on, let’s just be real, just for a second. Let’s just say, “You know what, we’re doing the best we can, and that is good enough.” We just don’t need to perfectly balance everything. And frankly, that’s just not realistic most of the time.
That’s good enough.
You are good enough, I am good enough.
Nobody is nailing this. No woman is nailing this. The woman that’s excelling at her career, she’s probably failing in other areas of her life. The woman that’s excelling with her kids is probably failing in other areas of her life. Or we could be failing at all areas of our lives right now, and that’s okay too.
Let’s just be graceful, let’s be kind, let’s give each other a free pass. Let’s just look each other in the eye at carpool line and just say, “Do you know what? I don’t have anything together, I don’t have anything figured out. I am just trying to make it.” And wouldn’t it be refreshing if all of us women out there raised our hands and said, “Yeah, no, nope, none of this is figured out, but I’m happy, and I’m loving people, people are loving me back, and that’s all that matters”?
So that is my little rant about balance today. Surprise, surprise, I had none of that written out, and I didn’t think about any of that in advance. I just figured it out. I thought, “Why the heck am I comparing myself to these women on social media who, yes, they have one element and aspect of their lives that they are doing so well in, but if you peel back the layers, you’ll find a hot mess in other areas?” These women that I am comparing myself with are just like me. We’re all the same. So let’s just stop the comparison, and let’s stop the games, and let’s just be real with each other and say, “I love you, and you love me, just the way we are, as hot messes.”
Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.
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