I finally saw the light, bright and shining, staring me in the face like a toddler looking for a cookie fix. Balancing life as a homeschool mom (or a working mom, work at home mom, mom of 3 etc..)is not, in reality, entirely possible.
It could be possible for other women. Maybe there are a few moms out there who have achieved perfect, beautiful, amazing balance. They can do it all without losing their mind in the process. They can work, parent peacefully, run marathons and still get Pinterest worthy dinners on the table every night. That’s not me. I think you already know that.
Still, I try. I judge myself unworthy, unfit and unkempt. Comparing myself to others leaves me feeling undone.
Why am I reaching for the unattainable? And what’s with the overuse of alliteration?
What if it’s not about balance at all, but about going with the flow of life?
Going with the flow, riding the wave, seeing where life takes us? That, I can do. Maybe even well.
Sometimes our lives will be insanely busy. Then we’ll be bored. There will be days when the laundry gets done and I have time to write. And there will be days when that can’t possibly happen. I need to find a way to be okay with that and embrace the ever changing rhythms and flow of parenting 24/7.
A friend once told me about a mom she knows who homeschools a large tribe of kids and makes all of their underwear. We spent 20 minutes trying to figure out when she had time to make underwear for all those kids and still do everything else. And all I could think, was that if I had to make all the clothes for my family they would be sporting modern day togas, held together with duck tape and staples, with a knitted thneed for warmth. Underwear would be banned.
When I look around at other homeschool moms, I see it. Most of them are doing the same thing. No, they’re not making underwear in their spare time. They’re struggling to keep it together while they are waist deep in stuff that needs to get done. From the outside looking it, I can see their children thriving. I can see how their relationships are strong and close.
I wonder, do they see it clearly, when they are lost in the midst of it all, trying to carve out a little time to breathe, regroup and adjust (yet again) in order to make homeschooling work for their family?
We talk about it. And it’s so very clear that we need each other way more than we think we do. Trying to walk this path alone is not simply exhausting, it isn’t any fun.
And we all need more fun. We want to enjoy this path, right?
So maybe life as a mom isn’t about finding perfect balance. Instead, I think it’s about learning to be in the flow of things – flowing with your children’s interests, allowing the time and space to connect deeply in conversation with your little one or a friend, and once in a while, it’s about finding your way into your own river of creativity.
It’s about learning to flow through the day and trust that what you’ve done -as a mom, wife and friend- is enough.
May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children. -Rilke