By Jeana Lee Tahnk
Say the words, "balancing act," to any mom and immediately shewill nod in agreement without even knowing exactly what's beingdiscussed. We get that motherhood comes with a whole set ofexpectations, hopes, dreams, fears, joys, anticipation and so much more.And while we constantly are striving for the best for our families, wealso are trying to maintain our sense of self - or at least somesemblance of our pre-mom self.
That's the ultimate quest for balance, in my opinion, but thereare oh-so-many others. Managing work and home life, making enough timefor the kids, managing the household and kids' activities, makingnourishing meals as often as possible even though chicken nuggets arethe easiest ... it's a constant juggle.
As a full-time working mom of three, balance is something I try toachieve every day (but, truthfully, don't always). Including my husbandand dog, I have five beings to take care of besides myself andsometimes my needs are last on the priority list. I'm OK with that, but Ido make the effort whenever possible to find ways to take care ofmyself. I hesitate to use the word "pamper," because to me, that wordmeans spending the day at a spa getting full body massages. That clearlydoesn't happen for me on a regular basis (um, or never), but I dolittle things, such as take a 20-minute walk, vent over the phone withmy best friend or enjoy an amazing dessert. Sometimes a little bit ofself-care can go a long way.
A friend told me her doctor's sound advice right after her baby wasborn. She said, "You are steering this ship, and if you don't take careof yourself, the whole boat will go down." This in no way discounts theequally vital role the father plays in the family dynamic, but themom's impact on the family is in part dependent on how she takes care ofherself along the way.
There are going to be days, maybe weeks, where you don't feel likeyou've had any "you" time. In those moments it's even more important torely on your support system - including your family members - and askfor help. Take a little bit of time for yourself to regain that sense ofbalance, nourish yourself and help you remember who you are. Doing sowill make you feel better, which ultimately can make you an even bettermom than you already are.
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