Finding Balance Amongst Chaos

September 22, how is this possible.  I don’t know about you but this month has literally flown by for us and I feel like we are working so hard at fitting everything into the schedule…  but in reality that doesn’t really line up with one of my biggest values which is BALANCE!  

Balance to me means not necessarily fitting it all in but learning to prioritize and try to get a mix of all the things that are important to my family and myself.  This is hard to do, I mean really hard to do.  I love to say YES, it is just the first thing that comes out and I like to please, plus who wants to miss out (FOMO, I got it bad).  The flip side of this of course though is I get feeling overwhelmed and don’t enjoy anything because I am too busy looking at what’s next, and will I be on time, and did I remember everything I needed and the list goes on.  

I am proud to say that I think I am finally starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel and am learning a little bit about balance and life.  I was reminded of it today, a girlfriend sent me a message that she had dropped a day a week of work, she commented on possibly needing to collect cans for her shellac nail money (first world problems are real) and that she had never felt so good!  She also mentioned part of this decision came from reading my blog and reminding herself what was important to her (time with people she loves) and that this allowed for just that!  I am so proud of her, I feel great that I played a small part in inspiring her to follow her happiness and most importantly she sounded so relaxed and content.    It got me thinking about what changes I had recently made and why I made them, I did a quick evaluation of my month so far…

  • Dropped one of the kids activities, sounds silly but I love the instructor and a lot of my mom friends go so it is a nice social for me… thing is its early morning for us (9:15 start) and with preschool and swimming 3 other mornings out of the week my littles were not enjoying one more rushed morning of routine.  So I listened to Rowen and figured if he isn’t into it and the girls don’t care, who am I doing this for?  Saying NO to this means getting a relaxed morning with my kiddos in pjs with no pressure.  They have the rest of their lives to be ruled by a clock. 
  • Flip side, I stuck it out with preschool and am starting to see Rowen enjoying his time there. Drop offs are hard but having a bit of structure and being consistent has really made a difference with him and he is starting to know what to expect.  Plus I think its been good for all of us, Grace cries when Rowie leaves (screams his name at the top of the stairs actually) but then her and Eleanor get to have girl time and Grace loves it.  She is the center of attention and is so excited to see Rowie when he gets home, he is also excited to see her! 
  • Said no to my sisters 30th Birthday trip to Palm Springs. This was a really tough one but with three kids under the age of three at home and a partner that works graveyards we had no one to watch our kids it seemed more stressful to go then it was to say no.  The childcare was issue 1, then if he took the weekend off to watch the kiddos, it means a weekend off we could have done something as a family and instead I got to go away (which don’t get me wrong mom time is important, but so is family time and time for just the two of us!).  Finally we just booked a month in Maui for January and that comes at a cost, so in an effort to save money I said no to spending the weekend poolside with my mom, aunts and sisters!  There is always next year:)  And this was a trade off, big extended vacation for the whole family but mom gives up a weekend away.
  • I have committed to going 3 times a week to the gym and I am doing it, even when I feel like flaking (I am cheap and it kills me to have to pay the $12 cancellation fee), or when I know it will be rushed for an activity for the kids afterwards (I just get up a little earlier and be organized, had to skip Shavasana but didn’t let myself use that as a reason not to go at all!).
  • I cancelled my sons big 3rd Birthday Party. This is huge, I love Birthdays and think they should all be celebrated… that used to mean in a big way. I am learning with Rowen big is overwhelming and being at home where he is comfortable with just his closest people (and Santa… that was his request) is all he wants to do for his birthday. So, this may change but for now I am putting aside my desire for a Pinterest worthy amazing 3rd birthday and instead making it Rowens perfect day… which is really all that matters.  

These are just a few of the choices I have made in September and been proud of.  Old me would have probably tried to do it all, skipped or already stopped my workouts with the excuse we are too busy and dropped out of preschool at the sign of any resistance. But I feel good with the decisions I have made and I feel relaxed.  This is huge for me as I am a naturally stressed and high strung person!  

Here I am after a long week of just doing the stuff that makes me happy and thrive.  Didn’t get to shower today, so hair hasn’t been washed, no make up because lets face it I don’t own any and I don’t want to waste what little time I have to myself putting on make up for others.  This is me, happy and tired and fulfilled!  I have managed to survive another week finding some balance and accomplishing most of what I wanted to get done while still having lots of fun.  SO, if I could share what I have learned with you all.  I think it would be to 

  • Make yourself a priority, schedule time if you have to. 
  • When you say NO to something you are also saying YES to something else (and vice versa)
  • Remind yourself any change is hard at first, but once you have made the first few steps the others come naturally and a lot easier.
  • Ask yourself why you are doing something?  And if you don’t like the answer maybe its time to change the action!  Another good question is what’s the worst that could happen?  If you say no, what’s the worst that could happen?  OR if you ask for help what’s the worst that could happen?  That sort of idea!
  • Schedule stuff, when you say we should get together or make a date actually mark it in your calendar, pick a date even if it is months away.  I find the more we schedule something the more likely we stick to it. 

BALANCE for me is

  • Doing things with our family as a whole but also having time separately with each person (took everyone to the bird sanctuary but when the older two fell asleep just sat and talked and made faces with Eleanor, take Row to school all by himself, those kind of things are important to me and help me feel balanced)
  • Spending time to reconnect with Fraser… this is tough but we are really having fun finding time, whether that means we book a babysitter for the middle of the week during the day and head out on the motorcycle or we steal a few minutes on the strange day all kids nap at the same time, this looks different all the time but is so important to me!  Plus we really like each other and each other’s company, so we want to spend time together. 
  • FRIENDS!!!  This is and will always be my hardest because I have big group of good friends and so does Fraser so combined that’s a lot of people (we love them all too!), and all of our friends are just super busy people!  That means even when we can find time, they might not always. But sometimes this looks more like a quick phone call or text message, a late night drop in for a cup of tea or even a visit to their workplace (good thing some of our friends have cool jobs like being a farmer!).We work really hard at trying to make an effort to see friends, whatever that means or looks like, and will continue to try and find creative ways to connect and see our friends.  *** We already booked a summer vacation camping (ACK… I can’t believe we are camping, but at least it will be in a trailer!) with 6 other families and 15 kids total, it is a whole year away but that is booked!  It is important to keep up your friendships at least it is to me so find a way and make it work!
  • Eating good, exercise and taking time for mental clarity… so we are doing okay in the eating department when we are most successful is when we plan and prepare, exercise we schedule in and joined a gym, and mental clarity for me is taking time alone (walking, meditating, yoga, even blogging).  Taking time for me… if I am good then my family is good, and I definitely see this. Same for anyone of our family members.  It is so important that Fraser and I have eaten, have exercised, have slept because when we have balance and feel good we are able to provide so much more for our kids. We are more patient, more understanding, more flexible, more energetic and everyone benefits. 
  • Money is my final piece to balance, obviously we all need money but finding a way to earn enough that we can live the life we want but also not working too much or too stressful of jobs that we aren’t happy. Some would say you could always have more money but I disagree, at some point the amount of money you earn or have is irrelevant if you aren’t happy or have people to enjoy it with.  So, for us this has meant we have tenants which helps with our mortgage and allows us a lot more freedom monthly in terms of how much money we have to have come in.  Plus we have worked hard at budgeting, not having car payments, paying for everything in cash… like no vacation if we don’t have the cash!  We could always improve in this area but for the most part I feel balanced with how we earn and spend… if you talked to Fraser (the earner) he might disagree;)

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