A Better Balance

For years I have told myself that I need better balance in my life. I wish I had a consistent, connected relationship with family and friends. It would be great to bake every week and make popsicles, snacks and smoothies always from scratch. I know I’m one in thousands that feel this way.

Although, my anxiety to change the course of actions or guilt when I choose to clean and catch up around the house instead of engaging with my daughter; might just all stem, in part, from a lack of balance. Most people just say that I, like a lot of moms, am being to hard on myself.

How do we alter each day to have the benefits of balance in life?

I used to work with someone that mapped out every single thing she did in a day when you asked what she did the day before. Right down to reading, driving home and brushing her teeth. It was always a huge list and made her sound like superwoman, to some. It seemed like she was competing for a title or needing some type of validation.

In all reality, there are 15 hours+ that I am awake each day. Having these types of things complete has an impact on our overall feelings of productivity and moving forward but I feel it’s mostly an adult being active and responsible for her life. Now add children to the mix and really become superwoman..

We shouldn’t get caught up in defining ourselves by tasks! Accomplishments, sure. Experiences, inevitably.

At the end of the day everyone has made their own way through in tiny or huge increments of choices, events and moments. I believe that we all create a balance within each days tasks, somehow. I want to achieve a better overall balance over a period of time, say over the course of a week or every month.

Now having a routine, and thinking about change, has mapped out possibilities in small slots of time to rework my day and maintain a better balance. So in these 5 minute intervals I need to schedule in these new priorities. By making each day of the week slightly different I could most likely fit in family, crafts, cooking new things, activities, chores and quality time with my family. It sounds a bit too ambitious now, but if I do it right and don’t sweat over the small stuff I think I can be flexible in making it work. Obviously when you have children even a routine is unpredictable, but here it goes.

I think the best way to start is to recognize the natural schedule your child is on and things you are already having to do. Such as naps, meals and programs.

7:30am: wake up
8:00-8:30: breakfast
8:30ish: potty time
8:45-10:00am: active play- walk, park, toys at home or play date, crafts
10:30: snack
10:30-12:30: errands, cleaning, library or Kindermusik (depending on the day of the week)
12:30-1:00: lunch
1:00-2:00: quiet time and reading
2:00-3:30: naptime; mommy tidies up, cleans, makes phone calls, writes
3:30: potty and snack
3:45-4:30: walk or play; depending on weather
4:30-5:00: make dinner; depending on my daughters mood- I put on tv so I can make dinner
5:00-5:45ish: dinner
5:45-7:00: play, read, family time
7:00: bedtime routine- toys away, warm milk, brush teeth, potty and a book, bath, little game while I dry and put on pyjamas, in bedroom we cuddle/talk about day/look out window to say goodnight, kisses
8:00: bed
8:00-10:30: mommy time to spend with daddy, make lunches, clean kitchen, set up for next mornings’ activities, computer work, shower

Monday: vacuum, floors
Tuesday: library, wash bathrooms
Wednesday: play date or outdoor activity, vacuum
Thursday: Kindermusik, meal planning and grocery list with flyers
Friday: groceries, dust
Saturday: laundry, vacuum
Sunday: cook snacks and as many meal items for the week, family time

Now to start writing in things that I would like to do. Brainstorm time…
• Call and/or visit family and friends: (apart from play dates) call one person every week to say hi and visit with someone once per month. Alternate/rotate between everyone.

• Search and put together busy bags or a new game: on a Monday, every three months. I could maybe involve my daughter in collecting items.

• Search and make new snacks/meals: Fridays I could search for ideas to use for following week. Make one new thing every Wednesday, with daughter.

• Exercise: Every morning after breakfast (9:30ish) dance for one song then stretch and floor exercises with weights, even pilates or yoga, with my daughter. 15-20 minutes total.

To help these new habits along I’m going to set reminders in my Mind jogger app. I think I’m going to set reminders for potty time as well. Some days I feel I’m failing my daughters potential for progress.

Do you alter your routines once summer is here? Or is it just about switching activities around and maybe eating outside?

I’ll be winging it and hope for the best. Although I strongly feel, and have witnessed, that children with regular routines or a type of structure each day are secure in what to expect and seem to sleep better which also aids in being active learners. (If my run on sentence makes any sense than great)
Hopefully this new found balance and altered schedule makes me a more relaxed, present, fulfilled woman which will trickle down to everyone around me.
Wish me luck.

Take care.