I think balance is essential to my life as a mom of 5 kids.
Balance is possible.
The trick is realizing that balance is journey, something that we work towards over time. As we move towards a balance that works for us, we start stringing together more good days and bad. There’s always going to be bad days. We’re human, and life just happens. Being balanced in our life as a mom means we can take those bad days in stride, learn from them, and help ourselves move closer to balance in our lives.
Why Find Balance?
Balance is finding a level of equilibrium in our lives. Moms are pulled in a million different directions every day. It doesn’t matter which season we’re in. Each one brings a new set of challenges to integrate into our routines and schedules. When we’re out of balance, we’re tired, cranky, overweight, suffer from health issues, and battle guilt, anxiety, and depression. Not a recipe for a happy, fulfilled life.
Moms of many kids need to stretch their limited time and resources just a bit farther than other moms. We should never feel guilty for this. We should also never apologize for this.
Balance for the Introverted Mom
Balance is going to be difficult for the extroverted mom just as much as it will be for the introverted mom. While the introverted mom will struggle with being drained by constant interaction with their kids, extroverted moms may find themselves constantly on the go and not spending time creating routines and systems to keep their home life reasonably well organized for their family. Both moms need to work from their type of personality and bring in elements from the opposite type of personality to help them have a reasonably balanced life as a mom.
Ways to Find Balance
Finding balance as an introverted mom in a noisy household of 5 kids has not been an easy journey for me. I suffered through 2 post partum depressions when my kids were much younger. I’ve also had a lot of mild health issues leaving me constantly tired and cranky and very short on patience. I’ve battled with depression and overeating other times in my life and attempted suicide while I was in college.
I finally figured out what I needed to balance my life about 5 years ago. I’m a work in progress. This year, I discovered that I have an unsuspected food intolerance thanks to doing the Whole30. I haven’t been able to run in a year because of a hip injury. Adding more pieces to the puzzle just helps me move closer to achieving balance.
- Eat Clean – I’ve taken wheat and dairy out of my diet to focus on a Paleo lifestyle.
- Exercise Daily – My new Fitbit Flex keeps me stepping and the PopSugar Fitness videos on YouTube get me stronger.
- Get Enough Sleep – I am a bit of a fanatic about sleep since I need at least 7 hours.
- Herbal Supplement St. John’s Wort – I still remember the moment this herbal supplemental kicked in after my last bout of post partum depression. (Don’t take this without consulting with a doctor first.)
- Journal/Therapy – I talk to trusted people when I’m struggling with stuff or write about it in my journal
Routines and Systems
My friends think I’m the Queen of Organizing. Organizing keeps me from feeling overwhelmed, and on the days I do feel overwhelmed, those routines and systems I have in place keep my stress levels manageable.
- Back to school routines for kids – with free printables
- Work Flow and Routines for the Rest of Us at The Lone Home Ranger
- How Does a Mom of 4 Get It All Done
I’ve learned my trigger points during the day. Getting the kids out the door to school, coming home after school, homework time, and dinner time are my top stressful times during the day. Since all of them involve my kids, I learned to put more responsibility on them and not be the one doing everything. I pulled together lists for them for morning, afternoon, and evening routines to ensure my expectations were clear.
Since I’m an introvert, quiet time is a necessity for me. I also use quiet in my social time. I’ve learned to stick to smaller group gatherings where I don’t feel lost in a crowd. Or, I do an activity with someone to keep me from feeling self-conscious. I make time at school pick up to chat with a few moms.
I also use technology. Yes, I spend time on Facebook. I love to talk shop with fellow bloggers. I also spend time on connecting with friends and family that I don’t get to see very often. While some may see this as avoiding real life relationships, what I’ve found is that when I do get to see these folks in real life our conversations are deeper and more relaxed. Time spent connecting daily online deepens the real life relationship.