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Balancing Act: Being a Mom, a Partner and Yourself

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Say the words, "balancing act," to any mom and immediately she will nod in agreement without even knowing exactly what's being discussed. We get that motherhood comes with a whole set of expectations, hopes, dreams, fears, joys, anticipation and so much more. And while we constantly are striving for the best for our families, we also are trying to maintain our sense of self - or at least some semblance of our pre-mom self.

That's the ultimate quest for balance, in my opinion, but there are oh-so-many others. Managing work and home life, making enough time for the kids, managing the household and kids' activities, making nourishing meals as often as possible even though chicken nuggets are the easiest ... it's a constant juggle.

As a full-time working mom of three, balance is something I try to achieve every day (but, truthfully, don't always). Including my husband and dog, I have five beings to take care of besides myself and sometimes my needs are last on the priority list. I'm OK with that, but I do make the effort whenever possible to find ways to take care of myself. I hesitate to use the word "pamper," because to me, that word means spending the day at a spa getting full body massages. That clearly doesn't happen for me on a regular basis (um, or never), but I do little things, such as take a 20-minute walk, vent over the phone with my best friend or enjoy an amazing dessert. Sometimes a little bit of self-care can go a long way.

A friend told me her doctor's sound advice right after her baby was born. She said, "You are steering this ship, and if you don't take care of yourself, the whole boat will go down." This in no way discounts the equally vital role the father plays in the family dynamic, but the mom's impact on the family is in part dependent on how she takes care of herself along the way.

There are going to be days, maybe weeks, where you don't feel like you've had any "you" time. In those moments it's even more important to rely on your support system - including your family members - and ask for help. Take a little bit of time for yourself to regain that sense of balance, nourish yourself and help you remember who you are. Doing so will make you feel better, which ultimately can make you an even better mom than you already are.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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