As moms we feel as though we are performing a juggling act most days of our lives. This is true for all moms no matter what other hats we wear in life. How can we stay true to the values we hold dear, the traditions we want to pass on to our children and the person who we envision ourselves to be? It all seems like so much to keep in mind. Is there a conflict somewhere in our vision? Do we even have a vision? If not, perhaps that is the best place to start.
Create a Vision
Are you living according to your dreams? I do not mean the dreams of your childhood - those were fantasies! I mean the realistic dreams of today. Do you do what you feel led to do, or do you undermine your own efforts throughout the day? How do you imagine your perfect day would go?
What traditions/beliefs/ideas do you hold close to? Are these elements of your life that you are practicing? Do you follow through with what you believe? Usually, there is a feeling or sense of lonliness or wandering in those of us who are not living according to our values. We sense that we do not quite belong - even with ourselves. We cannot be at peace with others unless we are at peace with ourselves. Having peace in our hearts comes from knowing ourselves and our values and living according to them. Only you can know if you are living in harmony with your own values. Only you can make the necessary changes to live a harmonious life.
Knowing When Enough Is Enough
It truly is a juggling act, isn't it? Often we feel as though there just isn't enough of us to go around. I know that I personally struggle with this. Sometimes, it affects me so that I am depressed; I get overwhelmed and simply want to cry (and often do); still yet I have to press on. I have to pick up the balls and try the performance again, and again, hoping that one of these times I will get it right.
But often, what I am asking of myself is quite simply impossible. I might someday get it right, but at what cost - my sanity? my children's childhood? my self esteem? my marriage or friendships? It really is a contradiction to try to do so much that I am stressed out. I am less effective when stressed, even if I am being productive. To be productive and at peace is the goal!
Like most things in life though, as soon as I master something, I am not content at that level for long. I feel the need to try to conquer some other element of life - a different struggle. I believe that this is how we were designed. It is this drive in humanity that encourages us to improve with each generation and to do better and be better for ourselves and for our children. But there comes a point when we have all we can handle. Really!
How many balls do you have in the air? Are you already managing enough? Is there something in life that you can set down? It is so difficult to let things go because doing so means facing the facts that we can't do it all. But, it is okay to have limits. Actually, it is a good thing to place limits on ourselves. It is a sign of maturity to know when enough is enough.
Set Some Limits
As mothers, we should allow ourselves time and energy to improve personally but not at a cost to our children. We need to balance the needs of our children with the needs of ourselves. And it really comes down to determining what constitutes as a legitimate need. Too often we chase after something in life that is really not necessary. The fact is that we simply cannot do it all. So, we have to decide what is necessary. This will look different to each person according to their personal beliefs, values and experiences in life.
This year, I am allowing myself to place more limits on things. My house may not look like a page from a magazine spread; my table will be set with time-saving meals; my laundry room floor might have piles of clothes on it; the desk will be cluttered; the toys skewn on the floor as you walk into the house. But there I will be: among the mess with my children, reading books, playing games, knitting and enjoying life. For too long, I have placed unnecessary limits on myself. It is time to remove some of those unrealistic expectations.