Ask anyone what they’d like to see a post about here on Life With Leo and you’ll typically get a variety of answers – but, one request remains consistent: how do you balance being a wife and a mother?
Well, the truth is: I don’t. More interestingly, I don’t even try to.
See, to have balance means you first need to understand what balance is.
Oh, the laughter that just erupted in me. Nothing about our household or our days are even or steady. In fact, most days are a circus act of deciphering what can get done during Leo’s naps and how to avoid waking him while I do it. I’d very much describe my life as a wife and mother as more of a juggle.
To maintain this juggle, there needs to be an understanding and an acceptance that there will always be some form of sacrifice – usually sleep and/or time: time with husband, time with baby, time with self.
I believe the “millennial mom” wants to have it all – the high-paying salary, the fairy-tale marriage, the well-behaved children (and, throw a dog or cat in there while you’re at it), the spot-free home, and the gorgeous body sans stretch marks. Oh, I forgot to mention the full night of rest to ensure dark circles are non-existent – probably, because that doesn’t exist for quite a while.
…but, I’ve learned that all of the above cannot thrive without feeling guilty over neglect of the other. I feel guilty when I don’t have a chance to spend time with my husband in the evening, because I want to go to sleep after putting Leo to bed. I feel guilty for leaving Leo with my parents or in-laws so that my husband and I can go out on a date. I feel guilty when I put Leo down to play by himself while I pop in a load of laundry or get the dishes done. (#MomGuilt – it never goes away, only gets easier to manage.)
I will say, however, that there are things I have implemented that allow me to get better at this juggle – concealer, using the crockpot, setting a timer for cleaning and coming to a hard-stop when it’s over, making a list of daily goals instead of a to-do list, and accepting help from family.
See, my juggle allows me to experience life as it comes each day – the awesome, the not-so-awesome, the absolutely incredible, and the total shit show. To crave balance means to try to maintain control. To maintain control means to go through life as a robot. To operate as a robot means to not be human.
I am a wife, I am a mother, I am human…
…and, boy do I love my juggle.