For a long time I was striving to find balance in my life. I wanted to have consistency, spend the right amount of time doing the right things and it stressed me out when I didn’t have what I thought was balance. What I’ve come to realize is that, like multi-tasking, balance is a fallacy. How on earth are you meant to work full time, exercise multiple times a week, get 7-8 hours sleep a night, spend quality time with the kids, have couple time, maintain friendships, maintain extended family relationships, have self-care time, keep a household organised, clean and tidy, pay the bills and do it all in perfect balance?
The truth is, you can’t. There is always going to be something that will tip the scales. Or multiple things for that matter.
What works for me is to think of it more like a pie (or pizza, if you prefer that). There’s never going to be more hours in the day, your pie will not get bigger. We all have the same so it’s about being conscious about how big your slices are and adjusting accordingly.
Here’s a practical example. Our bedtime routine is pretty set at the moment, Monty goes to bed around 7, Gracie has play time and then heads to bed at 8. She prefers me to get her to bed, read books etc. Most nights after she’s in bed, Eliot and I sit down have a glass of wine and watch an episode of something on Netflix. It’s our time to reconnect and do something together. Except when I’m beat. I make a decision some nights that although we need to have that alone time, for me, sleep is a higher priority. So I take a little piece of pie away from our couple time and add it to my sleep time. The flip occurs too. Sometimes, if I feel that we haven’t had enough couple time, I’ll stay up later so we can be alone together. It may sound fairly obvious to do this but there are two things I do that make it easier on Eliot and I.
- Make the choice consciously and decide what is more important at that time
- Communicate as early as possible to make intentions clear and set expectations
This also all ties in to some of my other philosophies, like the oxygen mask rule.
This philosophy is particularly poignant for me at the moment. We have a lot going on with the move to the US only 42 days away. There are some really big pieces of the pie that are devoted to selling things, cancelling things and making lots of appointments to get things done before we go. And this is all OK because I know that once we are on that plane, the rest of the pieces will get much bigger. Family time will be a huge piece, as will couple time as we wont have work for a while. I’m really looking forward to it.