Balance :: Does It Really Exist?

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It’s a new year! Tons of school halls are now filled with brand new bookbags, fresh markers, new pencils, the newest Jordan shoe, and new clothes as the sounds of school bells ring. Most schools are back in full swing and many of us, as parents, dread summer break not ending, as it takes us out of the hustle and bustle of the year.

Most of us can relate that getting kids dressed and ready for school is a full-time job. I feel like I have run a marathon by the time I convince three children to get up, brush their teeth, shower, get dressed, and eat something, let alone pack lunches and snacks to ensure they eat well and can survive the day. We also have the homework bags, library books to return, and the projects that we pray make it to school in one piece. Oh, and don’t forget, the traffic and long-lived car lines!

I often ask my motherhood tribe, school moms, and strangers, “How do we manage it all and still show up as humans in our jobs and in our careers?” It often leads me to the question that I beg to ask about life, and that is:

Is balance truly attainable?

As a kid, I could remember my mother and father doing it all with ease, and I had no clue about all the background planning, orchestrating extracurricular activities, and work that they did to ensure we survived the day.

Many of us are in different spaces of our parenting journey, but one thing that never changes is that our children always yield to us as the connection to create balance in their lives. It is a gift that parents have been given, but what about us, the many mothers and fathers who are trying to give 100% in our relationships, careers, families, social life, community, parenting, fitness, mental journeys, and all the other things that adults carry on their plates?

As I continued to dig deeper, it led me to really research what the word “balance” truly means. We hear things like, “just busy and trying to find balance,” or “when work calms down I can find balance,” or, my favorite, “if I can get the kids to bed early, I can find some balance to have time to myself.” This is a true indicator that most people are constantly seeking to find balance as the ultimate achievement for winning at life.

According to Google, balance is defined as the following: a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

If you took the definition the way I did, it sounds like to be balanced is to have equal weight distributed on two sides of something. Wow! Sounds nothing like parent life, right? I can’t define anywhere in my parenting journey where it’s ever been equal in all areas of life. The daily faucets of growing children, milestones, and needs are never equal, they are always sporadic and chaotic.

Despite the planning, and the many books read about having children and what to prepare for, nothing could prepare for the waves of imbalances parenting brings. So how do we change our language and meaning on attaining the true essence of something that is often an illusion? We must start first by teaching ourselves and others the true meaning of “balance.” Most parents want it all; healthy children, great careers, fit bodies, vibrant friendships, peaceful homes, fun travels, wealth and safe communities, but how?

Here is what I have learned about finding balance.

Be intentional about taking breaks 

Taking breaks is the opposite of being productive, or what others may call “busy.” As a parent, I realize that with running a business, being a spouse, serving in the community, and spending time with family, you have to find time to schedule breaks for your physical and mental restoration. I know friends and colleagues who plan solo trips just to escape the daily noise of life. Finding time to connect with self brings true balance.

Ask for help or hire help

The term “it takes a village” is not often used in our modern world anymore. Truly though, it does take a village to raise children. As a parent, the responsibility, tasks, and goals can be exhausting. Be sure to create a village that can support and love you on this journey. If you can hire someone to come in and take some tasks away, so you can show up to be the best version of you, do it! You don’t want to show up as the tired and aggravated mom because laundry didn’t get done. Release the pride and ask for help! 

Never lose sight of who you are

Finding “balance” means always returning to the essence of who you are or what things make you happy. As parents, we drown in the to-do’s instead of remembering the girl or the boy we were before. Take time to plan the things that will help you find your happy place.

Be okay with imperfection

Social media makes us think that our lives are totally in shambles when we spend our time obsessing over our friends list perfect vacation, clean homes, and newest filter. We have to be okay with accepting that the only constant about life is change and embrace every moment of it. Being perfect is overrated and unrealistic. Be okay with creating your own expectations about your life that allow you to be free so you can cherish even the most chaotic moments. 

So, does “balance” exist? Maybe or maybe not based on how you define what it means in your life. I found another very interesting definition of balance in the Webster dictionary and it reads, “balance is an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements.” That sounds more like it!

So the long nights, dirty diaper changes, late feedings, tantrums, new schools, career promotions, weight gain, dirty dishes, car rider lines, co-sleeping, pumping, piles of laundry, fun vacations, laughter, tailgates, new wealth, and new relationships are all apart of your balanced life. Each one, working together to integrate every part of your life to work in harmony creating the most beautiful visual painting possible. That’s true balance!

How do you keep balance in your life?

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Rhonda is a licensed professional realtor who services clients in South Carolina with their home buying and home selling needs. Married to her husband Jermaine now for 5 years who serves as an active-duty officer in the US Army, Rhonda has made Columbia her home after attending USC. Being a blended family (on both sides) with a household of four children under the age of ten, “we have to master chaos and schedules at all times.” Rhonda is passionate about breaking ceilings in the motherhood community that pushes women to have transparent and vulnerable conversations about their motherhood journey. She uses her podcast called “The Mom Mic” to highlight everyday moms through topics and conversations that are sometimes seen as uncomfortable. Rhonda is also an advocate for wellness and taking the natural healing journey to restore and revitalize the body. Rhonda believes that Moms have superpowers; “people often ask me how do you do it?”, I say, I really don’t know but I believe that we have been equipped to do such a divine assignment that God gives us all we need. You can often find Rhonda practicing Yoga, meditating, listening to her favorite podcast on Apple Tunes, shopping, interior decorating stores, and spending time with her close friends and family.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Rhonda. Even as man who married with no kids, I can still fully understand the demands of parents trying to find balance, especially with young kids. And you are right, perhaps true balance is not attainable, but I do think some of the suggestions you offer will help ameliorate some of the challenges.

    By the way I went to school with your mother -in- Law Janie, and her sister Daisy was a close friend in high school. Additionally, I see I have a new niece who happens to be associated with you. Tana McKelvey is my niece and of course I only learned of her at the beginning of this year. Tana and I have a similar history in one way in that my sibling’s on my father’s side did not know of me either until later in life. Her mother is my half-sister on my father’s side. But it is all good. Again, a great article and keep up the great work.

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