This is a guest post from Nina Manolson of SmokinHotMom.com.
Magazines and yoga teachers all say the same thing – find balance. And we mogul moms are certainly looking for it.
But I’m here to tell you to give it up! Instead of trying to find “balance”, what you should really be doing is…getting enough support.
It’s when we feel…
- supported in our daily to to-do’s
- partnered in our family decisions
- championed in our life goals
- not alone in our struggles (and we all have them) …
…that we experience that elusive feeling of ease and inner peace in our life.
But our current culture tells us that the way to get to that feeling is by creating balance.
It’s as if finding the right amount of work time, family time and self time will suddenly make us happy. But having the “correct” ratios – if that were even possible – is not going to give us what we’re really after.
What’s hidden in this mythical and elusive “balance” is
- our desire to feel a sense of inner peace (even when there’s kid chaos all around us)
- a longing to not feel the pressure of our to-do list hanging over us all the time
- a craving to be able to hear our own thoughts, feelings and wisdom (even though we are thinking about and caring for so many others)
- a hunger to enjoy the people we love in our life (even though life is very full)
That’s what we’re all after, right? We want a meaningful life in the midst of our real, busy, crazy life, whacky ratios and all.
So, how do you get there? How do you create the space to have a life that you can actually live in and love, instead of just manage?
Support is what we need, yet it’s the one thing that’s truly lacking for so many busy working moms.
Instead, we function in the “I’ll just do it myself” mode that throws us off kilter and into overwhelm and exhaustion.
Now before you jump to the conclusion that I’m talking about the kind of support that looks like live-in-help, a nanny, a personal assistant, a chef and a trainer (as nice as that would be), I want to assure you that getting support doesn’t need to break the bank.
Certainly support sometimes looks like a hired team: administrative help, household help, coaches, therapists, childcare etc.
But support is often right under our noses and all we have to do is ask. Yes, ask for help. I know that asking for help can be a challenge for many moms, but asking is the way to go.
Getting specific about where you really need help is the key to finding the support you really need.
Answer these questions and you’ll have a good idea of the areas that are calling out for some support.
- What do you hate to do?
- What are you not very good at?
- What do you keep telling yourself you should do, but you just don’t do it?
- What do you find frustrating?
- What part of the day are your rushing most?
- When do you wish you weren’t the only one doing the ….(dishes, taxes, etc)
- Choose one of the areas that you’ve identified.
- What are the tasks that are involved in the area you’ve chosen?
- Break down the task into smaller pieces and be specific. This makes it easier for someone else to step in and take over.
- What kind of support do you need to accomplish these tasks?
- Who could you ask?
- Are your kids old enough to help a bit more around the house?
- Do you have a partner that could do an extra errand a week?
- Do you have members of your work team that could take some tasks away from you?
- Do you have a friend who could come over to help you sort through kids outgrown clothes?
- Could you ask the babysitter to come an hour early to help sort through the piles?
- Maybe it is time to hire someone to help?
Once you’re clear on where you need help and who can help – ASK! Support won’t come your way until you ask for it.
Now, once you’ve got the support, be patient. It takes a while for whatever support systems you’ve chosen to fall into place and it might take a little while for you to get used to letting go and receiving the support.
But it’s worth it. Support is the new ‘balance’ because it’s the real key to creating a life you love. When we are not alone in our endeavors anything is possible and everything is manageable.
About the author:
Nina Manolson, M.A. CHHC is the Smokin’ Hot Mom Mentor who helps busy moms create a positive and healthy relationship with their body, food and life. Her free CD “The 7 Steps to Being A Smokin’ Hot Mom” is available at SmokinHotMom.com.