In this series we ask multiple mommas one question. The answers show the love, joy and struggles we experience each day, week, month, year or lifetime. Although the answers may vary, it’s clear we are working toward the same results: healthy, happy and loved children!
How do you balance and prioritize your responsibilities as a parent with other commitments and relationship needs?
April – Nolan: Age 6 / Ben: Age 2
Prioritizing time has become a skill of mine. Planning and scheduling life around kids and activities can also be hectic and not fun at times. One thing that keeps me sane is date night! Once a month I schedule a date night, whether its just me and the husband or another couple. It is a must in my book. It’s not only good for our relationship, but I feel like its good for the kids to get to go to grandmas or hang out with a babysitter (they usually get spoiled). Weekends are spent as a family. We do errands and house cleaning on Saturdays. Saturday night is usually a “fun night.” This often includes ordering out for dinner, and watching movies. Sunday is our “lazy day.” We will watch cartoons, do laundry and plan and prepare for the week ahead. Sunday evening is usually a family dinner night with any and sometimes all family that we have in town. I love the balance that we have created for our family. It works well for us.
Barb – Sean: Age 32
Most of our responsibilities, now that our son is grown, are just to provide help, advice or support whenever it is needed. The hardest part is not offering it when WE feel necessary, but waiting until we are asked. I have to keep reminding myself that he IS AN ADULT and knows he will, and can, come to us anytime he feels the need. I feel good that, most of the time, we are able to live our own lives and carry on day to day and let our kids live theirs. (Hopefully we have accomplished that!)
Corrie – Sam: Age 20 / Catlyn: Age 13
I met my husband as a wild 18 year old with absolutely no responsibility. He, however, had a 1-year-old and full custody. I fell completely head over heels in love. We married and had our first daughter within 2 years….so we have always had children. Lexi has been gone for years, Sammi is in her second year of college and works, Cat is 13 and is consumed with activities and friends. So, where does that leave us? Alone, most of the time, with our dogs. I work full time with women whom I consider sisters. My daughters, mom and sister are my best girlfriends, and my husband is my life partner. I am a born again Christian and have a personal relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. Beyond that I am content and feel I have the best balance a woman could have. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Psalms 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Erin – 2 Boys Ages 13 and 11
I can’t say I’ve got all the kinks worked out, and for the most part, I think I’ve found a pretty good balance. My job is important to me because it fulfills my need to make a difference in the world and financially supports my family. I make many personal sacrifices to successfully own and operate my business. That being said, I am not afraid to take time away from work and make my children my priority. My job is important, my children are my investment. As for me, I truly struggle with carving out “Me” time. “Adulting” can make me tired. Sometimes I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like running away into the night. What keeps me going are my beautiful boys and a job that I love. I spend my day laughing, playing, learning and teaching children. I look forward to each day and to me, the good with the bad, makes for a pretty balanced life and positive outlook.
Chelse – Kiddo A: Age 3 / Baby B: Age 7 Months
I recently became a mom of two, which has been a rock-me-to-the-core game changer. I consistently struggle with balancing priorities. My life cycles in phases that don’t always last and some of those phases do not allow for true balance. I often experience mommy guilt when I feel like Kiddo A is receiving “back burner” treatment. I also cringe when Baby B has to sit in a dirty diaper or cry for longer than my personal standards allot. I feel down when I realize that Daddy D and I have not touched in 48 hours except for our routine, morning goodbye kiss. Then, there is my career. I am constantly torn between the work sacrifice of being home in time to help make dinner, and the shame I feel when I’m away from my family. It is difficult to be everything to everyone. I can become completely unrecognizable to myself.
That being said, I make conscious choices to find what little balance I can. I remind myself that Baby B will only be my baby for a short time. I breathe in her scent and spend every lunch hour nursing her. I acknowledge that Kiddo A is loved and cared for to the very best of my ultimate ability and the only person who expects me to be a perfect mom is, well, me. He gets special alone time when I can manage it and I promise him that Baby B will not be little forever. Daddy D and I remain committed to make it through this journey we created together and I make sure that I have weekly one-on-one time, in any form, with him. Recently, we decided to use work leave to date each other for a weekday while our kiddos are at school.
As for me, I accept this woman and the body carrying her for the temporary phase they are both in. I schedule a monthly chiropractic adjustment and massage and take advantage of Daddy D’s time with the kids to grab a pedicure every once in a while. I will call my own mom for a quick visit. I try to never turn down time with a girlfriend…even if weekend mid-morning Bloody Mary dates have turned into WalMart power shopping trips! Then, I wait patiently for the days when balance will come to my life more easily.
*Featured Image from Cover Photo Finder
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