Changes in Seasons--Juggling Motherhood, Work and Marriage...
Have you ever tried juggling 3 balls? Of course you have! We all at some point or another said “that looks easy; maybe I can do this too.” But then we quickly realized, about 5 seconds in, that this is an art and isn’t quite as easy as it looks.
When I think about motherhood, work and marriage it feels more like I’m juggling eggs (verses balls), while pedaling a unicycle on a high wire. Yikes! I’m exaggerating a bit, but these are typically the three most critical areas where workingwomen and mothers want equal amounts of success. Motherhood--You want to raise happy and healthy kids, who grows up to be successful individuals. Work--You want to be respected and regarded as a valuable member at the table, with aspirations for bigger and better. Marriage--You want a happy husband, who feels completely fulfilled and enchanted by you ALL THE TIME. These are the areas where we tend to judge ourselves and it greatly impacts our sense of self-worth.
For me, there is a certain fragility, hence the juggling of eggs, as I try ensure that I am strategic in how I balance all three. What I find to be very important to this balancing act is understanding the SEASONS of life. If you take a moment to think back on last year, you can probably identify areas/seasons where one of the three “eggs” took priority over the others; perhaps it needed to stay in the air longer or spend more time resting in your hand. That happens and that’s OK! It’s impossible to balance or attend to all three at the same pace. Just like the weather, different seasons have different requirements
Here are some tips to consider on the changes in SEASONS as you juggle motherhood, work and marriage:
S—Strategy is the best planning tool. Determine which area needs to have your close attention in the moment and which areas can survive with a little less focus. How do you do that? That’s where the ‘E’ comes in.
E—Engagement with all three areas will allow you to get in front of the pressing issues that will affect each area. You have to constantly stay in the know so that you can be proactive rather than reactive.
A—Accept that being an overachiever in these three areas is an unreasonable expectation/goal. That creates an enormous amount of pressure and stress that you really shouldn’t take on.
S—Success in all three areas is different for everyone and you should not get into the business of comparing your journey to others. You can only do the best you can, given the information, resources and time you have. So give yourself a break!
O—Open and candid conversations is a MUST (yes, I always say this). This is important because you're human (surprise) and your family needs to know when and if you are facing challenges.
N—New opportunities to reprioritize may become necessary while you’re already in-progress. If you realize that you are going down the wrong path and one of these areas is significantly declining then simply stop and re-strategize.
S—Support from family friends, and even your boss or co-workers, will help to make this balancing act a little less challenging. Don’t be afraid to enlist their support. Leverage your “village” and don’t go at this alone. If an area is suffering, seek out the most appropriate support.
There is a fourth ball that is missing in this equation and that is you! Balancing all of that in addition to eating healthy, exercising, making time for family members, supporting friends, getting 8-hours’ worth of sleep, etc. is difficult. Be very mindful not to forget about self.