Someone just asked me a question yesterday that I really wanted to share.
"How on earth do you balance being a wife, momma & your passion for singing/songwriting? I feel like when I am doing the first two there is nothing left."
I love this question. I love the honesty. And I think the truth is, when we do "the first two" well, there is nothing left. Being a wife and a mom is exhausting, 24/7, full time work. It is good, but there is no question, it is hard.
Before I "answer" the question - I want to address a few lies that I feel we tend to accept about this balancing act of the wife/mom job. We are SO quick to believe that the well dressed mom & kids who are always so punctual clearly have all their junk together, which means we most definitely cannot connect with them on any level. And I bet their marriage is perfect too.......LIE! That woman is fighting for her days just like you and I, regardless of how good her crazy looks on the outside. We have got to stop comparing!
We also strive for this unattainable standard - some sort of euphoric, mom fantasy, where we think we will somehow discover the magic recipe for managing our home, our kids, our schedules, our sex lives, our hygenie, our kid's hygene, our doctors appts., our friendships, our volunteer jobs, our devastation, our thank you notes, our spiritual life, our family drama, our house cleaning - you get the idea. The list could go on and on and would only prove that we will never "arrive"! It is impossible. It is too much. This is a process, a journey. Not something we will cross off the list in our lifetime.
The idea of balancing my life makes me think of trying to balance a see-saw. You stand in the middle and if you are lucky & really feeling it, you may be able to keep both sides off the ground for awhile. But, with the slightest slip of weight from your right foot - one end of the see-saw goes plummeting to the ground, taking down anyone standing in the way.
I feel like this image transfers well to the wife/mom job, except there are only a billion things at play to throw off the balance of things in our life other than just a right & left foot. It is inevitable, we will have seasons - great seasons and terrible seasons; seasons when "balancing" and "managing" is easier than others, but then also seasons when we are beat up and weary. We will have seasons where us and our families may get nauseous from the back and forth motion of struggling to settle things and try to find the center again.
Obviously we want to do the best wife/mom job we can. After all, this is our job, our calling, right? I view my wife/mom job pretty seriously. And just like any other job - it requires some intentional effort, planning, & dedication on my part to even go kind of well. So, there are a few things that I believe, help me, better serve my family. (Note: this does NOT mean that I do them all the time....I have good seasons and bad, but in general, these things help me immensely!) Here are they are:
- God First. I can't serve when I'm empty. I can't be patient with kids in my own strength. When I wake up and spend a little bit of time reading my Bible, praying, journaling - even if it is just 15 min. before the morning chaos ensues - it makes a HUGE difference in my days!
- Me. When you are constantly thinking and doing for everyone else, it is easy to push yourself to the back of the list always and kinda lose touch with, you. I find that when I do some things for me, I am a better wife/mom. When I exercise & eat healthy I feel better about myself, and when I feel better about myself, my mental attitude is way better and I am able to face the day with out a negative inside voice. Also, I love to sing & write & share songs. I feel like God has given me this creative outlet & ministry, and when I am actively playing and making music - I am fulfilled in a way that refreshes me and helps me to better serve my people. What is it for you? Make time - squeeze it in! It's worth it!
- Time Management. I love me an old school paper planner, and I use the heck out of it. I feel like this is crucial to managing my house well. Meal planning isn't fun - but when I have 5-6 meals scheduled on a Saturday, all the groceries bought on a Sunday, it sure does make the week flow better when there is already a plan in place. I document everything; from when to send out bday invites to gifts to buy lists & ppl I need to have over. If I get it on the calendar it can actually happen. If not, there is no hope.
- Friends. Friends to do the nitty gritty of this life with are just the best thing ever. I have been blessed with truly amazing friends. These people know my shiny, good stuff, and my dirty, ugly stuff too. They love me and support and encourage me in my wife/mom job. I do the same for them. I need this! They need this! I think we all need this!
Hang in there! We are in this crazy awesome overwhelming boat together. I see a 2 day old coffee spill, 3 baskets full of clean & very wrinkled laundry to fold & some bedding thats been peed on for the 5th time this week that needs to get washed, again (not naming names - MADDEN!!!) - all after educating the children, of course. Yippy!