Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Balancing Act

I've always had a hard time finding balance in my life. Everyone finds different things challenging, and I find taking care of my kiddies, along with everything else, quite difficult.

The part that makes me feel inadequate is that I have really good kids (we all say that I'm sure). I don't feel like I should have a hard time accomplishing everything in a day because Jack is really great at entertaining himself for long periods of time, and Addie allows me to get a full nights sleep. Even so, I do have a hard time. If I feel like I've actually spent a good amount of time with Jack and planned activities that help him learn, I feel like I've neglected Addie. If I feel like both children are getting enough attention, I realize the house is a wreck and I haven't paid any attention to Eric in 3 days. Then on top of that you add in church callings, budgeting, grocery shopping without breaking the bank, preparing meals, etc.


When I'm feeling particularly bad about not getting something done, I like to remind myself of something Elder Bednar said. Eric attended a meeting where Elder Bednar was asked how you balance all of your responsibilities. He compared all of our tasks to spinning plates. You spin all of the plates and tend to them as necessary. When one starts to slow down and begins to topple, you go to that plate and spin it faster. While you're doing that chances are that another plate will then begin to topple so you spend extra time with that plate. I always take comfort in the fact that we aren't expected to be super heroes. I would fail. Instead I do my best. If that means that the laundry and dishes pile up while I play peek a boo with Addie, that's what happens. Jack won't feel neglected if he has to watch a movie while I work on Activity Days for church. I guess stress and worry can sometimes be helpful. They push me to keep working hard to do my best. I just have to make sure I keep them in check.



9 comments:

Shelley said...

Being a mom and taking care of a household is definitely a balancing act. Sometimes I don't think we give ourselves enough credit though because we don't realize all that we do. I am sure if we wrote down a comprehensive list of everything we did in even ONE day, we would be amazed. Thanks for the good advice!

ryan and danielle said...

I think you do a way better job than you give yourself credit for! our house always looks like a mess and we don't even have kids! haha, but I know you are a fun mom and always ready to play with your little ones, I bet they feel super loved and never neglected! we love you guys! can't wait to visit!

caroline said...

Sarah,
I'm impressed that you have figured this out so early on in motherhood and that you understand that it's not possible to everything. And it sounds like you have your priorities straight and that you're doing a GREAT job balancing and spinning the right plates at the right times. I spent years (and still do sometimes:) trying to figure out which plates are the ones I need to be paying attention to and letting others crash. You're a good momma! (just like your mom:)

Rethsey said...

I know what you mean. I feel like I'm pulling my hair out everyday just to get my to-do list done. Nobody told me motherhood would be so hard.

caroline said...

ps- that's funny that you used the spinning plates analogy. I picture this all the time when life gets extra crazy .I think I even commented about that in B&T's blog :)

taryn said...

Looks like we are both feeling the same way at the same time :) I also got to be in a meeting with Elder Bednar and I remember him saying that exact thing. Sometimes you spend more time in one area, which means the next time you should try spending a little extra time in the other area. From what I can see, you do a great job with all of your plates :)

Amy said...

It's nice to know that someone else feels this way too (and I just have one little one at home!)

Anonymous said...

What a great realization you've made! Keep those plates spinning as best you can, but family comes first. You know what they say - there will always be dirty dishes, but a child is only a child once (something like that)! If you have a really bad day, remember, there's always tomorrow to make improvements!
Love you,
mom
PS Addie looks so cute and warm in her winter outerware! Jack looks so happy playing with dad - sweet kids!

The Jeppsen 5 said...

I'm glad to know it's not just me! It's tough, huh? I love Caroline's comment! At night after everyone's in bed, I lay there and think about my day and what I did that was good and what wasn't so good, and I can't help but think that I stink at "balancing!" All I can hope is that my kids know I love them, and maybe I might be doing better than I think. I really appreciate the Elder Bednar story...it puts things in perspective! Love ya!! :)

PS cute pictures ;)