Balancing Life's Demands

You know that little graphic that's been floating around Facebook? It's similar to this one I found on a post at Beauty Through Imperfection (a really great blog!) entitled "If you could only choose two":

I use to just always chuckle at the "triangle of insanity" as I've been referring to it recently...but I'm kind of feeling it right now. It seems like something is always suffering. Since we homeschool and I am a stay at home mom, my kids are here at home the majority of the time. Like every day, pretty much. (Yes, they go other places but for the sake of this blog post, let's just assume I'm talking about the 90% of the time they are here.) As I was saying, it seems like I am always lacking somewhere. Examples:

- The house is sparkling - well, mostly clean - but the kids have been watching too much TV and are bouncing off the walls. I also didn't even begin to think about dinner and it's creeping close to dinner time.
- The kids are bursting with all the things they've learned today and we've completed lots of projects - I even accomplished several homework assignments myself! - but the dishes have piled up, there's a mountain of laundry that needs conquering, and we won't even begin to mention the state of the floors.
Sound familiar? Okay, so you have your house to clean/care for and your children. Then you add to it your other responsibilities or things you have going on in your life - obviously they vary from family to family and I'm sure there's some I missed:

- Relationship with spouse
- An outside the home or work at home job
- College classes or another type of training/education
- Cooking/preparing meals
- Church
- Organizations or groups you're a part of
- Homeschooling or helping your kids with their homework
- Pregnancy
- New baby
- Extended family
- Stress/marriage or family issues

So then you have like the quadrilateral of insanity. Polygon? Decagon? *Some* sort of weird, multi-sided shape? I should know this. Geometry was the only Math class I did mildly okay in. Well, whatever's frustrating! I wrote a post awhile back called "Finding Balance" which (I think) had some good ideas for freeing up your schedule. And I've definitely utilized those ideas. But then I find myself struggling when we are home and not busy. Why is that? Sometimes, it's just life. It's not always perfect and things go wrong. But a lot of the time, I'm my own worst enemy. Here are some of the things I've found that "doom" me and how I'm attempting to combat them. Maybe you do some of these too.

- I start my day off wrong. I get up late or oversleep or just hit snooze because I'm tired. While this isn't ALWAYS a bad idea, I do it far too often. Self-discipline, thou art a struggle of mine! I've been really trying this week to get out of bed when my son's alarm goes off - it's super loud and he sets it every morning for 7:15 even though he usually hits the button and goes back to sleep - but I am trying. (Mother and son are rather alike, eh?)
- I get distracted. So the apps on my phone...they can be very handy. They can also be a HUGE time waster. It's very easy to sit down with my phone and see what people are up to today on Facebook, look through everybody's pictures on Instagram, play a game for a few minutes, check my email, etc. I haven't deleted anything off of it (yet) but I have been just putting it down (or away in another room) so I can't physically see it/pick it up on a whim.
- I worry too much about things that aren't that important. I don't see the "big picture." I'll spend a bunch of time organizing one little cabinet instead of doing a general pick up of the kitchen that would overall make it look much better. Organizing and decluttering have their place, but sometimes general cleaning should take precedence. So I'm trying to keep that in mind as well.
- I don't plan. Yeah, flying by the seat of your pants works for some people. They're great at it. I can, to an extent. But then 5 or 6 PM rolls around and I'm like oh crap, what am I going to make for dinner and then have to start digging through the cabinets and whipping something up fast. How do I combat this? Making a general plan of meals, activities, and things that need to be accomplished. Even if it's just a simple, "here's a list of meals I want to make for two weeks" with no specific dates, at least I've got that list of ideas and can use it for shopping. Another thing I've been doing is each morning starting out my day by making a list of things I NEED or HAVE to accomplish and things I'd LIKE to accomplish that day. That helps me to set my priorities straight. Sometimes it's hastily written but that's better than no plan at all.
- I over plan. And speaking of plans, I've found SOOOOOOOOO many good schedules on the internet. Lots of schedules that different mommas carefully planned out for their families to help them manage their time and activities. However, I sometimes tend to forget that that was for THEIR family. I've tried adapting many of these schedules to my family and generally we screw them up. We are not the type of people that can do things from 8 - 8:15, 8:15 - 8:30, 8:30 - 9:15, and so on. We are much more of a "routine" type of people. (Raising Arrows has an EXCELLENT post on the differences between routine people and schedule people.) I've especially noticed that with the kids and their schoolwork. As long as they know what all must be completed, it all gets done that day. (Most of the time!) But if I schedule each subject out in 15 or 30 minute intervals, something inevitably goes wrong and then the whole schedule is thrown off.

So in conclusion readers, I generally don't know what I'm doing. No, I'm kidding. (Well, mostly.) Balancing life's demands is a work in progress, probably one I'll be working on for a long time. But I hope I'm improving it as I realize the things I'm doing to hinder myself. I'll keep you updated. Now I want to hear from you. How do you balance it all? Are you more of a scheduler or are you a routine queen?


  1. I have seven children, and am very much like you in many ways (happy geek girl and Whovian here!), well, except for my faith, which is different than yours. But still, I do all of these things. Over and underplanning, oversleeping, and especially getting distracted.

    I keep hoping I can have all three of the things in that pyramid. It's good to dream, right?

    1. Yay, a fellow Whovian! I say let's keep on dreaming...and I mean that in a good way, not a sarcastic one! :)


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