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.
Photos by Christie Knight