Walking the Mom Balance Beam

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I started today out BAD.  I mean low.  Lower than low.  Pond scum low.  It is the third week of school, and the shiny-new quality of a new year and a higher grade has worn off completely. 

The honeymoon phase of waking up to a brand-new alarm clock, brushing teeth and gelling hair, eating a yummy breakfast, and being on time has officially passed.

Unfortunately, I had a to-do list a mile long, and I wanted to go to yoga (how dare I?) before arriving promptly at 3:45 p.m. at school to be an official soccer driver to the first middle school game of the season.  Needless to say, I just was not up for a morning filled with b****ing.  So, sue me. 

With kids in the 4th and 6th grade, I can only suggest so many times that they prepare the evening before.  They should be responsible enough to do it themselves, so of course I won’t do it for them.  They have been going to school for a long enough time now that they should get the routine.

Every day for what seems like a century, they need a lunch, a backpack, a snack, homework, and the latest addition – soccer clothes.  Is it too much to ask for them to gather all of this the night before?  I would even let them place it on my granite countertops.  There!  You heard it here: I am even willing to allow my sons to put their soccer cleats and shin guards on the GRANITE counter if it helps them prepare their shi… stuff the night before.

Yet, this morning, we were right back to old/bad/awful habits of years passed: complete and utter chaos.  Everyone is worked up, dogs are barking, kids are brushing teeth and drinking juice at the same time, my older son is attempting to watch NFL highlights (REALLY!?), and I am sweating and threatening they’ll be late (and sweating).  The whole 20-minute scenario ends with my boys leaving for school leaving me behind with a broken heart and mish-mash for a brain.

How can I possibly want to walk upstairs to my office, start making my way down my to-do list, be creative on the blog, and enjoy my yoga workout?  Not without a vat of coffee and sugar jolt, which I know will make me irritated later.  All in all, I would label today a lose/lose.

I am neither a good mom or a good writer/entrepreneur today, and that feels lousy.  LOUSY!  Oh, and I still cannot get into the damn crow position at yoga.  I have been trying for 18 months.  I mean seriously, I could have had 2 sets of twins faster.  I am pond scum that cannot crow (I can plank and vishistasa…blah, blah).

So, I decided to eat a bowl of cereal for an early lunch and literally pretend to start the day over.  It worked! Seriously.

As soon as I drained my milk from the bowl, my inbox dinged with something that I was waiting for, and I received an awesome package from a PR company (more on that sometime soon).

I took this as a sign to attack the to-do list fast and furiously.  Done.  Check.  Finito.

And that brings me to the point of the story: why do we as women and moms always want to feel a sense of equilibrium and balance?  A few weeks ago, I read a bio/interview on Linda Sawyer, CEO of Deutsch North America in which “she says to get away from the word ‘balance,’ it insinuates perfection, and life is never perfect.”

I say YES to that.  Why do we chase balance or perfection?  In my opinion, it only makes us feel worse.  We really need to forgive ourselves when things aren’t just right.

I asked a few other women in business who are also moms and wives/partners, and quite frankly, simply do a lot, and this is what I heard:

“Balance is a mirage you will chase forever.  You are already in the oasis, so look around.” — Nicole Fende, The Numbers Whisperer

“Balance is the goal:  its like a slippery balloon – you grab it, then it squirts out of your hand until you grab the string, and try again.” —  Cathy Alinovi,  Hoof Stock Veterinarian

“Balance is the ultimate goal… the daily goal is to do the best we can and not beat ourselves up on the days it eludes us.” —  Dawn Veselka, Body Check Journal

“I think we should throw the language of balance out the window.” —  Dr. Tanya Douglas-Holland

What do YOU think?  Do you agree that we should stop chasing balance?  OR, should we still pursue something that has slipped past us time and time again?

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