Before I jump into the heart of this post, let me share a bit about my personality and take on 'balancing life' --
I am a planner and love all things rhythm, routines and organization.
I also strongly advocate for finding a plan, a way to manage your days as a Mom. Each of us is different, and thankfully we don't have to act like clones! Yet, there is great value in learning and growing in our home/life/work management skills -- doing it all by the seat of our pants really isn't the best idea.
We'll overwhelm ourselves this way for sure.
But do you want to know what I've learned the hard way in my 23 years of parenting?
Rhythm and routine for our family sometimes flies out the window in the face of transition, change, major shifts -- basically…organized chaos. Or rather, I have to establish a NEW way of functioning before burning myself and the whole family out.
When each pregnancy brought on severe illness (I can relate to Princess Kate), it wasn't an option for me to continue on as normal. Our family had to adjust to new patterns of living.
Last year, my husband raced to complete his dissertation and it was 'all hands on deck' as Daddy took several weeks to wrap up the BIG paper, as my 4-year-old called it. He was practically in hibernation until the defense, and we all had to adjust.
There have been seasons of moving, of trauma, of unexpected surprises that have thrown us for a loop. I'm sure many of you could relate as well.
Are you currently in a season of organized chaos?
One you knew was coming (or didn't), or maybe couldn't see it would be this tough, this hard -- this chaotic.
I do believe hope is available to us, and clues to find our way through during these times. I'll share what our family has learned, but please offer your own thoughts as well:
- release the idea of balancing DAILY life - in these seasons, each day may need to be different and that's okay! Try to think of balance over the long-term, after the period of chaos.
- release whatever practical tasks you can - if you can afford to hire help or have others to assist you…let them do it! This isn't a time for heroism, but humility. Allow others to bless you - ask and receive.
- release yourself from guilt - I believe this only comes through prayer, honestly. We need to apply God's grace to our lives and hear his words of affirmation over us and our families. He knows and understands it's all only temporarily messy, and that you would LOVE to get back to 'normal'. He'll help you get there.
- release yourself from doing FOR others as much as possible - I know, sounds a bit selfish right? But you need to care for yourself and your family now - and this is paramount. We can be gracious in the process, but find peace in saying NO when needed.
One day, this season will be over, and all will (and should) return back to normalcy. Chronic stress is not at all healthy for us or our families.
God's grace to you friend…whatever season you're in.
Daniele, Domestic Serenity
This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom.
Please check the series page for all of the posts!