“Find a balance, it’s the only way to survive!” other moms advise, but finding this illusive space between chaos and mayhem, appears to be nearly impossible. I believe that finding balance between my work life, home life, and building on my goals is more of an illusion and I would fare better by trying to hunt down a pink unicorn in Arendell. If you don’t know where Arendell is then you probably don’t have a daughter. There are days that I feel like I have it and I feel accomplished because I had time to spend with my family and get work done for my job. If I’m able to write for at least thirty minutes before collapsing on the couch, then that is a winning day, but those winning days are few and far between.
Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, I’m winning. Monday evening through Friday morning, has me caught up like Rhonda Rousey five seconds into her most recent match, KNOCKED OUT. The weekend is easy to split my time up, play a little tea party with my daughter and sneak in cleaning up a bathroom. I can escape into ninja world with my son, and then fold a couple of loads of clothes. During the weekend, I manage to sneak into that haven of balance, where my house gets cleaned (even the floors get a deep scrub). I’m winning during the weekend because I can do all the above and still get a chance to sit down and write.
The weekday however, I’m speaking an entirely different scenario. The balancing act is not evident and my juggling skills are left up to my imagination. Monday through Friday, I try to understand how my house has turned into a disaster zone, warranting a hard hat just to get through the living room. I can easily get over a messy house. I gave up stressing over those minor details last year because I realized that there is no reason to stay up late just to wash a sippy cup that was left under the couch. It took my husband to say, “Its 10pm why haven’t you sat down yet, the dishes are not going anywhere, and I doubt that your son or daughter are going to notice that the dishwasher wasn’t started last night. Sit down.”
What really gets me about this balancing act is not the clean house or even trying to find time to write, but when on a Tuesday night my daughter’s invitation to her tea party gets turned down because I have a stack of essays to grade, my heart sinks. On some weekdays, I must hide my imaginary sword and tell my son that the dragon slayed Mamma Ninja because I’m behind on lesson plans. When I must choose between my kids and my job the mom guilt attacks from all sides. I’m forced to feel like I’m not spending enough time with my kids, or feeling like a crappy teacher if I don’t get those assignments graded.
The great balancing act is one aspect of motherhood I have not mastered. I truly struggle with it daily, especially during the week. As a mother, it’s difficult to manage your time and I believe throwing in a full-time job makes the situation even more cloudy. I know that there is no real solution and that my balancing act will be successful at times, but more often I will fail. My hope is that I can balance the craziness of my life to a point that I can still manage to wear my princess dress to have Ritz crackers and juice at my daughter’s tea party. Have enough time to tame the evil dragon hiding under the couch, and still manage to correct the “their”, “there”, and “they’re” problem on my students’ essays.