One of my favourite definitions of balance is: “equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements.” Personally, my idea of balance has changed drastically since I first became a mom.
At first, balance simply meant showering each day, getting outdoors, cultivating relationships with other moms, and adjusting my family to its new member. Since I’m self-employed, work entered into the equation slowly and I was able to integrate it on my terms. Nowadays, with two kids in tow, balance means remembering which activity is on which day, getting my meal plan done, meeting deadlines, monitoring whether I’m giving my work too much or too little energy, putting myself to bed early, and striving to find time for myself, my husband and our family and friends (oh right – don’t forget that!). But I’m also aware that what I need in order to feel balanced can be different from week to week.
When I reflect on it though - despite the fact that my idea of balance shifts and changes - what hasn’t changed are my core values. Think of these values as the centre of your soul and personality. My centre is what sits at the heart of everything I do – that voice inside that knows what feels right and what doesn’t, the instinct that screams out to be heard if I’m careening in the wrong direction, my morals, my ability to contemplate my life and know what is true and good.
As women, as moms - whether we work, stay at home, or a combination of both - there are a lot of pressures on us. How we are influenced by or react to these pressures can have a great effect on our happiness or our idea of balance. It’s so easy to look at the way “someone else” is doing things and think “if only … ”. But if we are aware of what lies at the heart of who we are - our core values - these external pressures become meaningless. Instead of following someone else’s model for balance, we can make our own. We can find our equipoise or our “centre” by taking the time to listen to our hearts, our intuition, our inner voices.
Because balance lies within each of us. And we already have all the answers we need.