balancing act

by humanmama on April 4, 2012

Like most people, I’m a mom who struggles with balance. The balance between “Mom” and “Wife.” The balance between “family member” and “individual.” The balance between cleaning this house and just packing up and moving. Every week.

If you’re like me, you spent many childhood games playing “lost” or “house” or other “fake family” games. (“Oregon Trail?”)  I was always the mom in my neighborhood. No one else usually wanted to be the mom–it was more fun playing the baby, and there were lots of fights that began with “but you were the baby laaaast timmmme!” Being the baby meant getting taken care of, and getting to talk in baby language. Being the mom was fraught with responsibility. I needed to figure out what sort of mud pies we would eat, where we would set up our nighttime tents, who got to be the baby.

It’s the same now, really. My kids sometimes complain about how they don’t have any say in anything, “when I grow up I’m going to stay up AS LATE AS I WANT.” But as soon as I remind them of what moms and dads have to do all the time, the reasons why we stay up so late, they seem to think about it for a while, and then say “okay, I guess I’ll be the kid for now.”

Balance is hard for men and women. I find that a lot of the moms I know have a hard time really feeling present for work life/ home life/ being a partner/ being a friend…but they do seem to surround themselves with a support system of some sort. Men don’t seem to be as good at the support-system thing, trying to balance work/ friends/ home but not really opening up in any of those environments. Not getting the steam out.

I’m fine with Carpenter complaining about me to friends, as long as it’s something we can work though later. I wouldn’t want him telling intimate details about our lives together, just like he wouldn’t like me to be overly-shary with my friends. However, he knows that a lot more of what he says and does will be fodder for jokes and possibly blog entries.

I bet she doesn't have such a hard time balancing things

The blog helps me balance a little. It helps me blow off steam and also helps me re-frame bad situations, making them seem funny and entertaining to you and to me. But I still struggle. I struggle with when to go back to work. I struggle balancing a budget here with needing non-necessities, like a new set of sheets. I struggle between wanting to be “fun” and loveable as a parent, but needing to be strict with some of the rules so that my kids know where they stand.

What do you struggle to balance? Maybe if I had more hands

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria April 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Okay, so this comment will make it seem like I totally missed the point of the entire post, but do you have Marshall’s, or TJ Maxx, or Filene’s Basement in Pittsburgh? Because, seriously, new sheets on a budget? That’s all I have to say.

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charles cameron April 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

…then you’d need to buy more gloves…

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