The term balance is thrown around so often nowadays, I wonder how many of us actually feel we’ve achieved any sort of balance in our lives. As mothers of young children I wonder if it’s even in our vocabulary anymore??
Before having my daughter I was utterly confused on how much mothers seemed to struggle with their own self care and creating a healthy balance in life. How could it really be that difficult? I was a schedule person, a planner, a spreadsheet type of organizer and when I was pregnant I created my weekly planner with everything (to the minute!) I was going to get done on a daily basis after my daughter arrived:
7am wake up, feed baby, enjoy my coffee
9am baby sleeps, mommy goes to the gym
12n feed baby, husband takes over, mommy works on her business
4p feed baby, husband goes to work, mommy goes for run with baby
7p bath time, yoga & meditation with baby, feed baby and bed
I’m laughing as I wrote that out just now, because what I didn’t understand was babies come with their own agendas. And babies certainly don’t care about your spreadsheets, plans for the gym or your strategically created schedules. I was a new mom and naive to say the least. And what made matters worse was how frustrated I would become every time I would adjust my plan or expectations to better fit my baby and then something else would go amuck and I’d be back at square one.
Maybe you weren’t as TypeA as I was but from my experience as a Life Coach for new moms and moms-to-be I’ve learned we all have created some sort of barrier keeping us from creating that balanced life that embraces sanity.
The NUMBER ONE struggle for new moms when trying to balance their lives with their new baby is the lack of acceptance for change. I get it, we’re creatures of habit and like routine, just as our babies tend to, but the problem arises when that routine is disrupted. The baby hits a growth spurt. The baby doesn’t want to eat. The baby only wants to eat. The baby doesn’t want to sleep. The baby doesn’t like the car. The baby ONLY likes the car. The baby is, well, just being a baby.
Regardless of WHY the routine is disrupted new moms tend to have a difficult time embracing the disruption and spend more of their energy fighting or controlling it. Trying to fit that square peg in the round hole. It just doesn’t work.
If we want to experience any sort of balance in our lives we HAVE to understand balance isn’t set in stone. It’s forever changing. Think of it as a healthy flow. Some days will go according to plan and others will go the opposite. But embracing the flow grants you a sense of control rather than feeling lost and out of control.
So rather than fighting the inevitable change, expect it. Set intentions rather than expectations. Know your non-negotiables for the day and let go of the need to get it all done at once.
The only thing constant in our world is change. So creating a balance and life that embraces this sets us up for a lifetime of serenity rather than insanity.
Katie O’Brien is the owner of KAO Coaching and the life coach for new moms and moms-to-be. She is a wife and a mother herself and has an overwhelming desire to help mothers create a better new-baby experience for themselves. Through life coaching she empowers new mothers and soon-to-be mothers to redefine, recreate and start rockin’ their new normal of motherhood!