Thoughts on Balance

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Life has been a bit crazy.  A bit hectic.  A bit frustrating even.

I feel like the house is always a mess.  I feel like I am never caught up and the refrigerator is empty of anything decent at all times.

The world of blogging creates this image that everything is “just so”.  I never want to create the impression that there aren’t days, and by days I mean many, that the laundry is piled up, the floors are filled with muddy paw prints and that the office is covered in glitter.  Right now, the entire office is covered in glitter.

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I am here to say it.

Balance is a myth.

The idea that we can find that perfect blend of work, family, friends and personal time while keeping your home in impeccable shape is an unreachable goal, in my opinion.

But I am not here to stress you out and say you should just give up.

I am here to say it okay to not have balance.

I think instead, we need to seek seasons.

Seasons of really focusing on work.  Seasons of really focusing on family and friends.  Seasons of taking care of ourselves really well.  Seasons of our home being in tip-top shape.

And then, within each of those seasons, pull in as much as we can of the other areas.  Decide what is most important and then give ourselves permission to let the others go.

 

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Right now, my season is getting sick kiddos well.  We have had the flu hit both girls and the lingering woes that follow.  They are close to recovery, but there have been moments that have brought them to tears.  That is when it is easy to forget about the house and work and yourself and just take care of your babies.

Right now, my season is coordinating and making (and by making I mean anything with a glue gun – there is a talented team of ladies sewing amazing costumes) 111 costumes with many pieces and parts for the middle school production of The Little Mermaid, Jr.  I am choosing to be part of something bigger than each of us with my girl, Peanut.  To be there everyday after school and see her blossom on the stage.  To be there each day to get to know her friends better.  To have the opportunity to get to know those kids that maybe need a little encouragement to shine on that stage.  I take this opportunity really seriously, as I tend to with most things and I am so thankful to be there.

Right now, my season is having Sunshine there with me each day to be my partner in crime.  She is there with me after school and on Saturdays to help me and come up with her own ideas.  I get to chat with her in the “costume closet” about all that is going on in school and with her friends.  I am so thankful that I am in a season where my teenager is still willing to spend time with me.

Right now, I get to see both of my girls flourish.

I can not deny that I am frustrated with all I am behind on with work.  Each day I wonder how it is possible that I didn’t even come close to completing everything I sought out to do.  I sometimes wonder if I should just give up on some of the things on the list.

In a few weeks, the play will be over and my office will be back to being clean and put together like the pictures in this post.  The glitter will all be put back in the boxes and bins.  The glue gun will go back into its holster and maybe I will stop burning myself. So. Many. Times.  I will be able to switch seasons and put the same energy into work related things that I love to do.

The weather will hopefully be a bit brighter and maybe we will even be able to crack open a window to let fresh air in.  My house will get back in order and I will finally conquer that toppling tower of returns I must do.

In a few short weeks, I will actually see my craft table again and there will only be a few hints of glitter left.

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Until then, I chose to make this season about my kids even when it is hard.  I am so painfully aware that in such a short time no one will be leaving a cereal bowl in my living room, no one will be going through my make-up drawer and no one will forget to empty their lunch box when they get home because they will be off living their own seasons.

 

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Take today to allow yourself to balance out your seasons and don’t put the expectation on yourself that you can do it all.

I was speaking with someone the other day about the fact that I don’t sew, not a stitch.  Her response, in a very kind way was shock because she thought that was something crafty that I would be able to do.  My response was that there were a lot of things I am good at and I am totally fine that sewing is not one of them.

Shouldn’t we all give ourselves permission to be okay with the things we are not good at?   My sister is not crafty.  Really, not all at.  However, she is an amazing teacher and has an incredible understanding and passion for literacy.  I am a terrible teacher and have no understanding for literacy.  Neither is better than the other.

Let’s all give ourselves permission to balance our seasons and give ourselves grace for what are not our strengths and celebrate the strengths that we do have.  And lets do the same for each as well.

And as always, thank you for reading.

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Thoughts on Balance”

Comments

  1. Just wanted to let you know this is a lovely post. And more important, it is true. And the fact that someone (like you) decided to put it out there is really relieving. Thank you for that! 🙂

  2. Great post, Laura. The memories you are creating with your daughters will surpass all else. These special times will be over in a blink of an eye…those messes will wait!

  3. Love you! Glad you are able to have that special time with your girls (when they are not sick). You are a great Mom! Looking forward to Betty season 😉

  4. I am a mother of eight and my kids are leaving the nest at a rapid pace – one married, another marrying this summer, two at college. It flies by, the time. This post is SOOO spot on. Balance is a myth. Seasons is what I have taught for years. Spiritual seasons as well. I am reading a book about that right now by Mark Buchanan- Spiritual Rhythm. It is beautiful. Thank you for this post. Get those baby girls well and enjoy that play. And, I don’t sew either!!!

  5. Great post! Our worlds are so similar! I just started a blog and am trying to give it as much attention as possible meanwhile trying to be the best mom I can be to 3 very active teens & Tweens! I can’t be great at it all every week but I really focus on being very good…. And better at some areas each week, just like you pointed out. By the way, my son is starring in his HS production of Les Miserables…. Good luck with your production! Love your office by the way, super cute!

  6. Well said. Thoughts we all need to hear with our minds and hearts. Balance and seasons. Goodness this is sooo good.

    My word for the year is Be Still. I know, not really one word, but rather once concept. Seeking what is right each moment. Not limiting myself to last week’s to do list.

    The time with the girls and the school play Woo Hoo. We can hardly wait to hear all about it, it due time.

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. It felt like your post was written for me today! My house is a total wreck, I have a to-do list a mile long, I just returned two huge bags full of stuff and have a small pile that still remains and the laundry…well, I just caught up yesterday but the pile is growing again. You are so right…this time with our children is so fleeting so it’s best to focus on seasons and come to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to really balance it all. Great post today and so good to be reassured that I’m not alone!
    Enjoy your girls and all of their activities and productions – those are the things that really matter!

  8. I love your analogies of The Seasons….such a inspiring and thought provoking post…Even though we are empty nesters we are extremely busy…work, family commitments, community involvement, friends and me with the blog to add to that mix….I try to stay focused on what is truly important…and seems like you always have your priorities in order…your family…believe me, they grow up too fast…and I remember putting everything on hold during my son’s growing years…do not regret what I had missed as I did not miss a minute of his childhood…in the scheme of life, that is what matters….Don’t be so hard on yourself as you are a great mom and wife and manage to give all of us great inspiration….Hope the girls are feeling better!!!…and you too!

  9. Laura your honesty hits hard and true. Only in this last year have I come to appreciate the seasons of life and really cherish time and make better decisions about family versus work. There’s time for it all just not all at once and we are better people and moms for embracing these seasons. Funny how most life lessons can only be learned through experiences, thank you for sharing yours!

  10. Lovely post. Spending quality time with family is by far the best and besides that, a little glitter never hurt anyone. Looking at it should remind you of those precious times spent with the kiddos and make you smile, inside and out. 🙂

  11. Laura,
    I have followed you for several years and can see that plans get changed as the needs change. There are priorities and they should be people and not floors or countertops.
    The season of “just the two of us” comes too soon and when it does learn to embrace it too. My wife and I are learning to enjoy it and be just a couple again.

    Of course this happens between calls to help with daughter’s new apartment and calls from parents needing help in their new apartment.
    Sometime things are a very short season. It is all an adventure if you let it.
    Rick

  12. Balance is not like a teeter-totter perfectly midair. Balance is times of putting out followed by times of taking in followed by times of putting out and so on. After we have a season of “lovin’ on others” we need a time of “being loved on by God”. Especially for introverts who like to offer hospitality like myself. Hammers have 2 motions to drive the nail home, hitting and resting ;-).

  13. beautiful post…..thank you for being so real…..it brings the word HOPEFUL to mind. i don’t have a blog but i love love reading both home, food and fashion blogs. have acquired so many ideas and inspiration from them all but there are days i have to click off as i’m feeling “less than” when i look at those “perfect worlds”. i know in my heart and soul, NOTHING is perfect but our Father. I have loved your blog for quite some time — you are doing the right thing by spending as much time with your family! If i could only go back — i have a great relationship with my daughter who lives very close by and just got married last summer —my son, not so much — he moved to san diego 2 years ago and was just informed friday that he enlisted in the army. I’m happy in his decision as he has been stumbling thru his life with no direction. I can only pray for him as worrying will just consume me! have a nice day ..and thank you for your blog and honesty…. (sorry for the rambling!) : )

  14. I always enjoy your posts. You have a way of writing as though you are actually talking to your reader. This post was beautiful – and thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time because I do TRY to be all things at once and am my own worst critic! And yes, enjoy all the time with your beautiful girls that you can – they grow like weeds and do go onto their own seasons. I would give anything for my kids to be ten years younger (and me too!) and still “need” me, instead of developing into the early 20-something’s, trying to be independent people I have raised them to be. Hugs!

  15. Laura,
    Spot on post! As a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 3 it’s a juggling act. I watched the 5 year old twins from the time they were infants up until this Septmeber when they started a full day 5 days a week preK program. Right now I am at my daughter’s house watching her 3 month old (and typing while he sleeps

  16. I think this post made a lot of ladies sigh in relief. The Land of Blog does make us feel inferior sometimes. I know how to make my pictures of my home look perfect, the recipes I share sound simply delicious, the projects I undertake coming seamlessly together. But that’s not always the case and I admit that right there on my blog! We women need to take our minds off the “doing everything” and focus on the present. My kids are young adults now and I really wish I could go back in time to a home I left messy, grilled cheese for dinner instead of something wholesome that I spent too long on. I wished I had sat and cuddled with my girls instead of throwing that last load of laundry in. I became an empty nester last week. The house is spotless, I have a meager TO DO list and it’s very very quiet here. Very.

    If I were you I’d capture some pics of those after school moments and the glitter all over your craft room. Live in the moment each and everyday!

    Jane xx

  17. Laura, your post has lined up with SO MANY THINGS that have spoken to me lately! I’m not a young mom, I’m a 50-year-old mom with kids flying from the nest. It brings on a whole ‘nuther set of frustrations. That, along with aging parents and a job that needs more of my attention are making me all too aware of those seasons of life, and that decisions have to be made. Something has to give, and sometimes those things are GOOD THINGS. Thanks for your wonderful words!

  18. Did I tell you I love your posts on just everyday real life? You may not sew, but you paint a beautiful, heartfelt picture of words. We often laugh and say in a hundred years what will matter. My faith and my family. I am a closet perfectionist and sometimes I just need to let go of my controlling ways and relax. I love my family and our time together. And the fact that there are loads of laundry and I haven’t planned a week of meals are not the major deal I may think it is.
    And I have three beautiful sisters who are all very crafty, artsy and full of wonderful creative projects. And I didn’t get a lick of that gene!
    Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to just be me and just let go and enjoy the moment. Make some beautiful memories with those daughters. As you know, they grow up way too fast. I am in the grandparent season and trying to store every precious memory in my heart.

  19. I think that’s a collective sigh of relief I can hear. What a great post. I love hearing all about your home & I love the pics but what really gets me is the real life stuff and this one made me cry. I needed to hear it – I think I am constantly just trying to get too much done – sometimes I just need to sit with my kids and do what they are doing. They never comment on how clean the kitchen is but they will always tell me how much they love it when we do things together, They love time together – end of story. Sounds like your house is working hard and well for you and your girls are being loved big time and loving the time with you – that sounds like balance to me. Love your blog – your an inspiration. Can’t we see the messy workroom??

  20. Well said! There must be something in the air. This past weekend, I left my dirty house, piles of laundry and empty cupboards behind so that our family could have some fun with friends. My daughter’s comment late yesterday afternoon when we finally got home – ‘this was a great weekend’. And do you know what, it was.

  21. I feel like you’re one of my greatest friends, and we’ve never even met. 🙂 Thank you for being real, for not putting up a front about your life and home. Thank you for being a voice of maturity while also sharing your love of creativity and human connection. The vision I’ve always had of my home and family life also had a certain feeling of serenity that I wanted to achieve someday. You emulate that exact feeling of serenity and realism surrounded by beauty. I follow several blogs, and I always come back to yours. I love your calmness and your sweetness. Thank you, thank you!

  22. Such honest and wonderful thoughts! Thanks for the reminder to give ourselves grace, not perfection. It’s just a season!

  23. Balance…it is a see-saw…sometimes up on one end and yet down on the other, and we only pass through “balance” for one small second. Your post is soooo true. Enjoy those days of theater. Love love The Little Mermad. Our daughter did theater in high school…with many musicals. She is currently working at Disney and loving it. The lessons learned in theater will help in so many areas. Glitter all over your office shows that life is being LIVED at your house. 🙂 And that’s a good thing!

  24. I just read your post. And, as an empty-nester, I must tell you …don’t allow yourself to feel even the slightest tinge of guilt about what is not getting done….spend as much time with your girls as you can….they are only this age once. The glitter can wait. I never regretted taking time with my three sons…it was always time well spent! Enjoy your weekend! 😉

  25. My favorite saying is, “Life is for the living.”. Thanks for your great entry. Empty nesting comes way too soon!