If you’re a mom, I think you know there is never a “perfect balance” to anything, especially when motherhood is involved. If I had cracked the code of this topic, I would be a millionaire and completely sane, and I am neither (sigh). I am figuring it all out day-by-day and taking snippets of advice that I get from other moms to formulate what works for me in this season.
Since I don’t have all of the answers, I’ll share how I’m keeping it together (well, most of the time) and striving for that “picture-perfect” balance. What I will offer you is encouragement to start each day with the best of intentions and just roll with the punches from there.
I am a mom to three-year-old Ranger and one-year-old Everly, and the CEO of Modern Southern Mother. I am very busy, but also feel very blessed. It’s definitely a double-edged sword to wear so many hats; I get to be a mom to my children while I do what I love. But, I feel like I am treading water much of time, and there’s always more on my to-do list than hours in the day. So, I had to ask myself, “How can I be a better mom, and also fit in my workout?” For me, the answer was actually kind of simple. I had to get more done earlier in the day. I think most moms out there know that you are just too tired at the end of the day to “start” something. It’s a rarity that I can start anything after the grind of bedtime.
So here’s what I’ve chosen to do in this season of life (because it’s all just a season) to balance it all:
Prioritize Your Fitness
Find out what is most important to you. Since health is what we call a “non-negotiable” at my house, I make sure that I always schedule it into my day. Find the time when you know that it cannot be interrupted and then put it on your calendar. It’s as simple as waking up early to get a 30-minute jog in around Radnor Lake or your neighborhood Greenway. Make your health a top priority!
Start the day EARLY. To fit it all in, I wake up at 4:35 am four mornings a week to head to the 5:00 am class at Shed Fitness in Belle Meade. For the most part, I have become accustomed to getting up this early and it does become easier over time. Okay, so maybe not the waking up part… but knowing how I am going to feel after I start my day this way is the part that gets me up and moving so early!
When I wake up, head to the gym and come home to a sleeping house, I have the ability to breathe and feel energized before the day really even starts. Before the demands of breakfast and emails begin, I have the time to workout without distractions, come home, regroup and get a head start for the day. But, waking up earlier means I go to bed no later than 9:00 pm (and by “go to bed” I mean CRASH). Trust me, if you’re waking up that early, you’ll be crashing before 9 pm, too!
Ask for Help
I have had to accept that I’m not Super Woman (though I would love to wear spandex and a cape every day) and that I cannot do it ALL by myself. You have to let go of some of the control and ask for help from time to time. For me, this looks like having someone help with some of the housekeeping occasionally and have a sitter come for a few hours so that I can get some work done. By allowing others to help out, I am able to focus on the task at hand more so that I can work when I need to work, be a mom with fewer distractions and feel like I can fully commit to those around me.
“You have to let go of some of the control and ask for help from time to time.”
Let Go of Perfection
You have to let go of the unrealistic notion of perfection. You’ll never have a day go exactly as you planned, and you have to be ready for all of the unexpected bumps in the road. Every day is full of the best of intentions, but alas, life doesn’t always play nicely. When you have tiny humans controlling most of your time, things are bound to go wrong. If you’re prepared for the unexpected, then you will handle them with more grace. Tomorrow is another day, and you get another chance to start over.
Give Yourself Some Grace
Let me now give you some words of encouragement. It took me three years to get to this place today. A place that works in this season of my life. I have not perfected how to “do it all”, but I’ve grown to realize that I have to prioritize feeling my best in order to be the best version of myself. If that means taking my children to daycare and then going to work, or fitting in a lunch workout and then spending the evening as a family, then I make it work and pack my gym bag and some dry shampoo. Whatever it is that will help you maintain that feeling of “being you” is worth putting the time and effort into figuring out. We all can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and kids and emails and deadlines (the list could go on and on…), making it harder and harder to start. It doesn’t take a New Year’s resolution to get you back to where you want to be–it takes making that first step. It will take the trial and error of what will work for you, but just start. I can stand on my soapbox all day, but you get the picture.
Just go. Sweat it out. Mom so hard. Boss lady at work. Do. It. All. Because you CAN! Find what the “balance” looks like for you and go make it happen. I believe in you.