The Secret to Balancing It All

secret to balancing it all

secret to balancing it all

secret to balancing it all

secret to balancing it all
secret to balancing it all

secret to balancing it all

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve done two podcast interviews and both times, the question, “What’s your secret for balancing everything?” came up.

In both cases, I felt a little dumb because I didn’t have a good answer.

But as I’ve replayed those conversations in my head, I’ve stopped feeling bad about it.

Because the answer is there IS no secret for balancing everything.

There’s no app that will keep you ten times more organized than any other app.

There’s no way to get more hours in the day.

I keep a cheap little spiral bound notebook and every day I write down a massive list of things to get done and on a good day, I maybe get to half of them.

I like to think of myself as a pretty together mom, and then the morning I had all four girls with me for school drop off, we were one minute late and the gates were locked, so I had to park to take Ella in, and the trunk automatic button froze up and I couldn’t open up the trunk at all, so I couldn’t get my stroller, and the other three girls had no shoes and pajamas and bed head, and Star decided she did NOT want to get out of the car, so she screamed the whole way into the school, the entire time I was signing Ella in, and the whole way back to the car. And of course, the principal happened to be in the office and wanted to tell me about some testing they were doing and what the timeline was going to be like, and I tried to look like a very wise, on-top-of-it parent while I held a wobbly infant in one arm and a shrieking toddler in the other.

Some days, I feel like I’ve rushed around so much doing school drop-off and pick-up, packing lunches, folding laundry, making dinner, and getting everyone into bed, that it seems the only time I had any real connecting time with my girls was for two picture books before nap time.

Last week, I had my babysitter all scheduled, with a perfect plan for ALLLLL the things I was going to get done while she was here for 2.5 hours and then 30 minutes before she arrived, Ani unexpectedly threw up. So . . . we watched Sophia the First and snuggled on the couch all morning and everything on my work list went undone.

If you’re a human being, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s always more to be done than there is time to do it.

If you choose one thing, you say no to something else, whether you want to or not.

Some days, it’s pancakes for dinner and nap schedules that refuse to align and inbox not-even-close-to-zero and being the last mom at school pick-up and a floor that hasn’t been mopped in three weeks (and that was Bart doing the mopping).

The more people I meet, the more I realize that NO one is balancing it all.

I’m kind of inclined to think the secret to balancing it all is knowing that balance is never actually going to happen.

secret to balancing it all

Photos by Christie Knight

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  1. This post was much needed. I feel so normal and glad to know everyone else has the same problem. Im constantly looking for that balance.

  2. Ahhhh, yes. I loved this, and I think it’s refreshingly honest in a time when we’re all surrounded by advice on achieving that perfect balance. Thanks, Janssen 🙂

  3. Needed this today. I am so behind after breaking my toe and having a fridge break and a baby who still wakes up at least three times a night . . . But life is still good, even in the choas.

  4. So true! Sometimes (like now) I am failing at balance more than other times, but it’s always a juggling act and so many things get left undone. Right now for me it’s blogging. I haven’t written anything all month, and it’s kind of killing me, but it’s also kind of OK. Thanks for being real. 🙂

  5. as a mother to grown children, I absolutely agree. There is no way to balance it all. The other problem with “your generation” is that Facebook, instagram and other social media only highlight the great parts of life. Watching life on social media, in particular pinterest themed things, gives a person the idea that everyone else is doing it all. You need to get a village of friends to hash out the reality. and to help each other out.

  6. Hahaha. Are you talking about my life? I hope that when I’m old I’ll be able to look back and see that I lived a balanced life. But I’m starting to realize that at any particular phase of life, you probably can’t have an ideal balance. As a student I studied too much. As a young college grad I worked too much. When my husband & I dated I didn’t sleep enough. Now with young kids I feel I spend 16 hours a day picking up Legos & feeding kids. I expect in a few years I’ll feel like I am jumping from one lesson/practice/game to another. And then I’ll become an empty nester and have way too much free time. It’ll all balance out in the end, but every part of life is imbalanced in some way.

  7. Agreed! I love what you mentioned about saying yes to one thing and no to another. Its true!! No one does everything. I’ve learned that I always seem to find time for things that I love (reading, running) but there are plenty of things I always thought would be important to me (decorating for the holidays, cleaning my bathrooms weekly) that just don’t happen….so they must not matter to me! I told my husband yesterday that I used to plan my time more, but now I just seem to prioritize what the next most urgent task is each day. I don’t get things done nearly as in advance of deadlines as I’d like, but it amazes me that I do get stuff done! And somehow, having three small kids, a part time RN job, being the primary president and working on home renovations has helped me really relax my need for control. The important things get done eventually!

  8. I love this – so true! Sometimes the only thing I accomplish while my son is in preschool and my baby is not meeting my nap expectations is emptying the top half of the dishwasher. Probably the secret to everything is to adjust your expectations. Life is humbling! Especially with small kids.

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