I have always had some challenges with balance – I throw myself completely into whatever I’m doing. Because, well, new and shiny (or rather dirt and mud and outdoors) is always more fun than mundane housework. In March, I left my job to spend more time with my toddler, but also with a goal of finding that mythical thing we call balance. Shortly afterward, I started hiking with Hike It Baby, and pretty soon was hiking 5-6 days a week. When I first decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, I was sure that since I wouldn’t be going to the office, my house would be sparkling, dinner would be on the table nightly, and I’d be that supermom figure that we all envy. In other words, I would have balance in my life. Well, after the first week, the joke was on me!
I’m not entirely fun that balance exists – I did call it mythical a few sentences ago, after all. First, I’m home less now than I was when I was working. Instead of a stay-at-home-mom, I’m more of a “leave-the-house-mom.” I’ve learned that my sanity is at risk if my son and I don’t get out every day – this is twofold: I have more patience when I have fresh air and exercise and adult conversation, and my kid is happier when he gets to wear himself out with his pals. Additionally, my house is generally a wreck, and unless I’ve got the slow cooker cranked up, or there are leftovers in the fridge, dinner isn’t often on the table when my husband comes home. I’ve come to the conclusion that I may not be the best housewife ever, but I’m a pretty awesome mom and my kid is getting introduced to awesome experiences (and tasty dirt). Perhaps that’s more important than balance, at least right now. If we have clean clothes (laundry is usually clean, if not put away), we eat reasonably healthy meals, and we are happy, then perhaps that is all the balance we need. And maybe finding balance is less about having perfect everything, or being perfect, than it is about accepting the flaws and imperfections and chaos that mark our lives and having fun anyway.
What are some strategies you use to find balance (or similarly, what makes you realize that balance is a complete joke)? Submit them via this form.
What obstacles have you overcome either to hike or by hiking? Share in the comments below or via this form.
Erin Pennings’ main duty in life is making sure that her sweet, but very busy toddler, Emmett, doesn’t dive head first off the highest thing he can climb. She is also an outdoor advocate, formerly avid traveler, animal lover, and a lifestyle blogger who loves food. Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SalmonAtSeven.