Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Juggling vs Balancing

Tomorrow is my one year workiversary.

This day last year, as I prepared freezer meals and ironed my clothes for my first day at work, I asked some pressing questions about outside-the-home working mums and how they managed all the tasks still required to keep a home running smoothly. Being the perfectionist I am, I needed to know how they could leave the circus but still keep all the juggling balls in the air. After one full year of gainful, outside-the-home employment, I can finally answer those questions.

They can't.

Or maybe "they" can, but I can't. Or maybe I could, but I haven't figured out how yet.

Who takes the car in for oil changes? How do you keep up with the laundry? How does dinner get made every night after you've been working all day?

No one. You can't. It doesn't.

Those are the answers I've discovered anyway. Supermoms out there, please beg to differ. Then give me all your tips. Then give me your housekeeper's and nanny's phone numbers, because I don't believe you.

This is the great, ground-breaking wisdom I have discovered after a year.  Wait for it - this is going to blow your mind:

Some things - a lot of things - have to be let go.

*Cue Elsa in a blue dress making an ice castle*

I hate it, but I'm accepting it. My left-side brain, my obsessive nature, my perfectionist tendencies torment me constantly about the lack of organization in my home, but this is reality. One of our kids is still small. The other two are getting old enough to reliably help me and Scott out. Anyway, it's only for a short time, really. People may judge our yard for its tall weeds and our couch for its pile of (clean) laundry and our floors for the Cheerios stuck to it, but this is life right now. It's not forever, but it is what it is right now.

Sure I could expend energy keeping the house spic-n-span every night, and Scott could expend energy mowing the grass and cooking dinner.  Or... I could keep myself sane by taking an hour to go the gym while Scott takes an hour on Reddit. We could come straight home from work every single night and cook and clean until bedtime, or we could order a pizza every now and then and play with the kids.What's most important right now?

After a year, I'd say that I've settled into my new routine pretty okay. It's not perfect, it's not what I know it could be or exactly how I want it to be, but I'm accepting it for what it is. I know eventually I'll get there (or hire a housekeeper), so for now I'm learning to balance. Balance - isn't that my theme for this year? Balancing instead of juggling all the balls I hold in my hands. And balancing sometimes requires setting a few things down for a few minutes to steady yourself.

Maybe some day in the future I'll reach the perfection I long for, but for now, I'm okay with life being a little messy and a lot imperfect. Or at least, I'm learning to accept it being that way.

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