Saturday, March 30, 2013

Finding Balance...

This picture was taken when I was 9 months pregnant with Gianna (I wish I could go into the picture and fix my hair!). And, she was my peanut at 6 lbs. 9 oz. I don't have any pictures of myself (that I can find right now) when I was 9 months pregnant with Justin (my 10 pounder). I do know that I was asked more than once if I was having twins!

This post is about balance. And, women tend to be off balance when they are very pregnant. I made the horrible mistake of doing a cartwheel when I was 6 months pregnant with Lucy. Gianna just couldn't get it, and I decided to show her. What a about no balance! I was so dizzy at first, and then the pain of all the muscles that I had pulled set in!

I find that I easily get out of balance now too. I am not physically off balance these days, but my life tends to quickly go too far to one side...and everyone suffers!

One day this past week sticks out in my mind as a perfect example. I had too much unscheduled time with the children. My husband had to work through dinner (not his fault), and by the end of the day, I was completely and totally spent.

I felt so burnt out from motherhood...and, this is not fair to my children who deserve a loving mother! Through God's grace, I made it through the day (always do!), but it is NOT a good feeling (like you don't know how you're going to get up and do it all again tomorrow!). On days like this, I wonder if I am stopping to enjoy and cherish my children (instead of focusing on all the WORK like serving meals and snacks, endless cleaning up, breaking up fights, etc.).

Luckily, the next two days brought renewal. Because...they were balanced! I spent time with treasured friends, my husband was home more and able to help me with the kids (by doing some housework and playing with the children!), and I had a few moments of down time during the day. At the end of those days, I felt good about I could get up and face another day!

I know that I cannot and should not expect balance everyday. This is my cross right now. And, it is a cross full of beautiful blessings and comforts along the way! So, this post is mere reflection and venting on my part, and praying to the Blessed Mother to help me when balance is not possible.

A friend posted this piece from a blog called Growing in a Shrinking Culture ( I know nothing about the blog or the author, but her words were so powerful to me. I love reading something and thinking it was written just for me. She really sums up my internalized feelings of guilt when I do take a minute for myself when my children are present.

I share it below so that I can occasionally look back...and remember that I did really enjoy my children when they were small...and BALANCE made this possible for me!

She is talking about the popular e-mail/facebook post about moms who are on their phones and missing their children growing up right before their eyes:

"Let’s say this hypothetical iPhone mom is a SAHM (stay at home mom). Let me tell you something about her, that I know from experience:

Know what she has a lot of? Sweet moments watching her children do things like spinning around in their dresses or watching them show off or watching as they bring you something they just discovered. Moments to play with her baby on the floor, read a book over and over again with excited inflections, moments of teaching them the sounds that animals make and about the clouds that our Creator designed. Moments of laughter and tickle fights and hugs and kisses. And for this reason, she is thankful that she has the opportunity to stay at home full time with her child(ren).

But do you know what she doesn’t have a lot of? Time to herself. Time to respond to an email. Time to read the News or thought provoking articles on culturally relevant and important topics.

So let’s just say that after a long day (or string of days) of playing “hide-and-go-seek” and dress up and Legos, and fort building and teaching shapes and sounds and singing, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” she takes her kids to the park so that they can play by themselves, exercising their imaginations, twirling in their dresses, climbing the monkey bars, and swing while she breathes in some fresh air, sits down by herself, and browses some articles and catches up on some emails. I say good for her. Because you know what? She needs a break. For the love, just give her one! Stop judging her parenting for one mili-second."

Wishing you all balanced motherhood...and an incredibly blessed Easter. Thanks for reading!

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