I have a busy life. Did I sign up for it? You bet! Now I’m trying to balance it all and do it well. I’m a mom first and foremost. Being a parent is the most important job someone can take on. Raising the next generation is no easy task and not to be taken lightly. I’m also a wife, a daughter, a friend and a manager in the Recreation and Fitness Center. These are all roles that I want to be good at and they are very important to me. But, how can I be good at all of them all of the time? The short answer is, I can’t. There’s only so much time I have to give each day. I would love to clone myself and then all my problems would be solved. Since that’s not an option, I have to strive for balance in all the things that are important to me.
So how do I strike balance? It takes work, a conscience effort and a plan.
In a previous blog, I talked about making time for myself which I still work hard to carve out. Luckily I enjoy working out alone; either jamming to my music or just listening to my feet hit the pavement. I’ve also discovered yoga and the wonderful mind-body connection it gives me. This gives me that reflective time I need while keeping me healthy and strong. I also try to do active things with the kids. This gives us great one-on-one time while teaching them the importance of having movement in their life. It could be as simple as a walk to the park or playing hide and seek inside on a rainy day.
Before kids I was this super organized individual with all my affairs in order…a clean house, a very well pampered pooch, extremely fit, and the list went on. After kids, I have found this impossible to maintain. Striking a balance after marriage and kids has meant that the house is sometimes dirty, the laundry occasionally piles up, working out has gone from marathon training to running 4 miles and I need reminders on my phone to keep me on track. The type A me has had to let go of some things to make room for other more important things. I prioritize and refocus my energy on the people who are number one in my life. Now when the house is dirty, the kids pitch in and help me with their toy vacuum cleaners and brooms. They even grab wipes and clean the floors. Sound like child labor? Aren’t there laws against that? I call it quality time with mommy and the kids call if fun (so when did housekeeping become work?).
I also try to stay connected to my husband by sending a quick text or we chat briefly on the phone between meetings. It doesn’t take a lot of time but he knows I’m thinking about him. We also spend quality time together talking about our day after the kids go to bed. It’s easy to get into the habit of just co-parenting when your kids are young and they need you for everything. That’s why we regularly have date nights where we keep “kid-talk” to a minimum.
As far as my job here I know many folks look at our jobs at the RFC and think “Wow, do they just get to play or teach classes all day?” I wish! We still have a business to run, performance objectives and goals to meet, deadlines, programs to run, and the list keeps going. We have customers (you!) who mean a lot to us and motivate us to do what we do. Our list of programs and events would WOW anyone! But these great programs take a lot of time, energy and passion to pull off successfully. And as anyone who visits the RFC would know, the staff is very passionate about what we do. In addition to our programs and events we keep our facility clean and well-staffed so that you can continue to work out in a top notch facility. My job here keeps me very busy and many times I take it home with me and tackle things on an early weekend morning or late night so I can come in ready and prepared for the next day.
In one area of my life where the time pinch is most felt would be with my friends. I miss them but I’m fortunate that many of them are busy working parents as well. I try to see most of my friends every couple of months and we pick up like we just saw each other the day before.
We put so much stress on ourselves to be good parents, spouses, friends and employees. In my journey I have found that I have had to balance all of these responsibilities. It’s been tough but I’ve had to let certain things go. The important thing is to make time count. Make the things I do with my family, my friends, my team and my co-workers count. I am a busy person, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I try to stay focused on what’s really important and reflect that I’m in balance and getting what I want from my life.
So what’s important to you and what do you need to balance your life? In today’s fast paced world, you can’t be all things for all people. You have to decide what things are important to you and strike a balance so that life doesn’t trip you up.