Finding Life Balance as a Busy Mom
The weather we’ve been having lately has reminded me how easy it can be to get out of balance in our lives. Our family has been welcomed with a lovely case of snotty noses and sore throats this last week, which has now worked its way through our whole family. ‘Tis the season!
It’s almost as if the powers that be are testing me to see if I can take on “a little bit more” all while being sleep-deprived because toddlers and colds don’t mix well.
Quickly, my well thought out planning process for family activities, meal planning, and my business turns into reaction-mode to whatever challenge gets thrown my way (let’s just say our Valentine’s Day was underwhelming this year). These last few weeks have not been my most productive, I’ll admit. But, every once in a while, sometimes we just need to slow down and do whatever we need to do to survive.
Now that most of us in the house are on the up & up again, I’m craving a little feeling of “normalcy” in our lives and some balance. It reminded me of how often I hear the same thing from my clients.
Creating a Balanced Life in the Midst of Chaos
Things like having babies, getting new jobs, aging parents, and all sorts of other #adulting takes over in our lives, and almost overnight, we go from feeling like you have it all together, to thinking, “what the heck is going on right now” pretty much 24/7.
Never a dull moment, right?
Is Creating a Balanced Life possible?
Balance is really an interesting topic of conversation lately. I’ve seen so much out on social media lately talking about how there is no such thing as balance as a mom. – I completely disagree.
Balance IS an attainable goal, but it just might have a little different look than what you might have once thought. Think of it this way – we all have the same number of hours in the day, yet some mamas are able to feel completely at peace and calm, while others are really struggling to create a sense of balance in their lives that others have. So, why is there a difference?
There’s probably not a simple answer to this question, but being intentional, future planning, and creating awareness of our expectations all have a major role.
So, if you’re having one of those days, weeks, months, or maybe years, where it just feels like there is no such thing as balance in your life, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to re-evaluate and create a little more calm in your life:
First, what’s the best way to use these questions?
6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Create More Life Balance
If you don’t currently journal, this is a great reason to start. These are great questions you can journal about at the beginning of each week. Otherwise, keep these questions on hand, and use them as a gentle reminder now and again when you feel like life is feeling a little bananas:
1. What will matter most to me in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Are the priorities I have now in alignment with those things?
When things feel out of balance and we hit reactionary mode, it can be hard to see the long term vision for what matters most. It might almost feel like you have a visor on and your eyes are just focused on what’s directly ahead of you.
When you’re feeling out of control and out of balance in your life. Take some time to stop and think about the long term picture. Then, evaluate if your priorities right now align with that vision.
2. What can I put aside now to make more room for what matters?
Sometimes it can feel like everything is a priority right now. But, think about all the things you have going on. Is there something you can say “no” to? Maybe you’re the “go to” lady for volunteer PTA projects, or your boss knows you’re always up for another opportunity. But, it’s okay to say “no” or “not right now” to things in your life that creating more chaos than balance.
Or, maybe you set yourself up for too many goals this year and the reality of achieving all of them in one year is creating chaos in your life. As high-achieving moms, it’s so common for my clients to come to me with not just one goal, but 10. They want to create healthier eating habits, start a new workout routine, start a regular self-care schedule, train for a marathon, and grow their business. Not to mention, they also want to feel like they are being the best wife, mom, friend and colleague they can be, too.
Part of our initial conversations are looking at what matters most now, and re-evaluating a new timeline the rest. I’m not saying your have to give it up, it’s more about looking at the big picture and knowing some of those goals are better fit for later down the road. We only have so much time in the day, in each week, and in a month, but if we prioritize our time correctly, we can make some pretty big steps in that time.
Here are a few other related questions on making more room for what matter most now:
- Could you spend less time on social media?
- Could you delegate some work responsibilities or reset some timeline expectations so you can leave on time?
- Is there anything in your life you’re doing right now that is draining you?
3. Is there anything in my life that can be delegated to create more balance?
As moms, we often feel like we have to take on the majority of the work in the house, even when that might not be the case.
- What things can you delegate to your spouse or your kids? (kids can help around the house, even if it’s not perfect.)
- What jobs can you hire out? Cleaning the house? Laundry? Meal prepping? Grocery shopping? There are so many easy and affordable options to delegate projects, there’s almost no reason to not! (I get it, sometimes Target is the only alone time you can get, in which case, hold on to that with your life!)
4. What is one thing I can do today to take care of myself?
Making yourself a priority and feeling your best will naturally help you feel like you have more balance in your life. Keep a running list of the things that recharge your batteries if you only had 5, 15, or 30 minutes available. You never know when you’ll get a second for some self-care!
Think about things like breathing exercises, stretching, a quick workout, or even affirmations all count as healthy and positive ways to take care of yourself.
My personal favorite is taking 5 minutes or less to write down a few things I’m grateful for today. It seems to be exactly what I need when things feel a little chaotic and brings me back to the present moment to remember, “hey, there’s some pretty cool stuff going on in my life right now.”
Journaling or gratitudes may not work for you, so try a few different things and reflect on how it makes you feel after.
5. How can I be more intentional with my day?
The more you can set your day up with a plan and proactive planning, the less likely you will be to go into reactionary mode. There’s a saying out there that says, “You can run your day, or you can let your day run you.”, and it’s so true. Other than being on vacation, I’d much rather have control over the way my day goes. So, maybe that means having to wake up 30 minutes early than usual to set your intentions, or maybe it works best for you to write out your intentions the night before. Either way, ask yourself these questions:
- How do I want to show up today?
- How will I respond if something happens that’s not planned?
- What are my priorities today?
- How will I make sure those priorities stay at the top of my list?
- How will I make my personal needs a priority today?
- What is one thing I can say “no” to today to make room for what matters most?
- How will I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can?
6. How can I let go of expectations today?
Sometimes the most chaos we feel in our lives is from expectations we’ve put on ourselves or those around us. What if you weren’t so worried about your kid spilling their milk all over them? What if you didn’t stress about the dirty dishes in the sink or the pile of laundry that needs to be done, and took that time to do something that helps create more balance in your life?
At the end of the day, having the expectation that life will always feel totally balanced is probably not realistic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t attain balance in our lives. Balance in our lives IS possible. The key is to knowing what works for you to get your life back in balance when you realize that things are getting a little chaotic.
And, when life starts feeling a little nuts, keep these 6 questions close by so you can reflect on them and get your life back in to balance quickly:
– What will matter most to me in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Are the priorities I have now in alignment with those things?
– What can I put aside now to make more room for what matters?
– Is there anything in my life that can be delegated to create more balance?
– What is one thing I can do today to take care of myself?
– How can I be more intentional with my day?
– How can I let go of expectations today?
And in the moments when it just feels like nothing is working, or you can’t catch a break, remember this – You are doing a better job than you’re giving yourself credit for. You are doing your best, and that’s all that matters. You’ve got this, mama. <3
About the Author - Jen Wright, NBC-HWC
Jen Wright is a Nationally Board Certified & Certified Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach, Certified Cycle Instructor, mom, and wife living in Minneapolis, MN. With over 10 years of experience in Marketing, Project Management and Leadership for corporations, Jen became passionate about helping others through their health and wellness journey after overcoming her own health challenges. Jen has since helped hundreds of others create healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives through her caring and strengths-driven approach to coaching.
For more wellness and success tips, follow The Driven Mama on Instagram: @TheDrivenMama