Life is weird. Never the same. Unpredictable. You could think of your life as a playground.
Take the Slide. One minute you are at the top..the next the bottom. Often in a puddle of Autumn rain. We have had lots of ups and downs in our family over the past 4 years and at times when we are up I still worry that it will be all over too soon.
The Roundabout. Ah I think we all know sometimes it can feel like the world is spinning all too fast and we just want to get off the roundabout because to be honest we are just starting to feel dizzy.
The Swings. Sometimes life is an utter joy. You feel like you are way up there amongst the clouds and like your feet will never touch the earth you are so happy.
Then there is The Seesaw and this is really what this blogpost is about. Life is generally one big balancing act. Unless you are of the magic age between perhaps 0-late teens of course.
If you are working there is the much talked about work/life balance. Having the correct work/life balance is the dream for most people. Some lucky ones seemed to have it all sussed but these are few and far between.
At the moment I feel like I’m balancing too much and often the seesaw is heavier in one part than I would like it to be.
Here are a few things that most of us grownups have to balance:
Family – whether you have children or parents or siblings that you care for this is a big one and the most important.
Love – be it a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, life partner or maybe you are just starting to look for The One. Taking time for this is a requirement for a happy life. Have fun together. Laugh. Watch films. Take walks. Eat.
Work – most of us have work commitments or university or college work to take care of – perhaps both for some. Unfortunately to be able to support our families we have to work. It’s not fun and I imagine a great deal of parents would rather spend more time with their little ones but it is what it is.
You – ah the magic me time. Again something I consider to be important for your sanity but not always possible. Try and snatch 15 minutes here and there. A long bath, an exercise class or a coffee with a friend. Small things can make a big difference to how you feel.
Your home – it’s easy to say that having a clean house is not everything but even if you are not an obsessive cleaner ( I’m not ) then you still have laundry, cooking, bills to take care of and lots of other small yet time consuming tasks.
So how do you do it all? How do you manage to be the perfect mum, partner, daughter, sister, employee,housekeeper, cook..the list goes on.
I guess I’ve discovered recently in a moment of clarity that you don’t. You cannot be perfect at everything but you can be really good at the things that matter. I strive to be a good mum. Everything else I try at. If I succeed at being amazing at lots of things then great. If I don’t then I’m trying to stop beating myself up about it.
Some weeks I will have the sparkly house from the Good Housekeeping magazines ( those weeks haven’t come yet ) other weeks I will spend every minute trying to make my children’s days fun and full of good food and love. Some weeks I will want to run away and spend 60 whole minutes of just being me ..not a mum, not an employee ..just me. That’s ok. I get that now.
What matters I think is that I continue to try. I hate my job yet I’m still there. For my family. For my home.
I’m not naturally organised. Yet our bills are always paid. School uniforms always clean. Nutritious food is always on the table. I spend a good chunk of my days at home cuddling up with our girls which means some days I don’t get a lot done but really when you look at the big picture I achieved so much and I’m lucky to have all that love in my life.
I read this quote a while back from the CEO of Coca Cola:
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life”
It’s really stuck with me. I know what’s important and what to prioritise.
Everyone has a friend, colleague or fellow school mum who seems to manage it all but remember it’s pretty impossible. Something has to be missing. Don’t be jealous of what you don’t know.
And so that is why I think life is a playground. I don’t know about you but I’m just about ready to jump back on that roundabout.
And Other Idiots says
It’s easy to beat yourself up about not getting it all right all of the time, but your post made me realise that despite the shambolic chaos we live in, the children have lots and lots of love, clean clothes and decent food – and most days that is more than good enough!
Thank you very much x