Do you ever ask yourself that question?
My five little ones have gone through diapers, pacifiers, the toddler stage, the teens and on into adulthood. Eleven grandchildren have since joined the family. Even after all this time I still find that life get outs of balance and I ask myself “will I ever get to take a nap?”
A story I seldom tell – but I will share with the Mogul Moms – has to do with a morning when I hit my limit. The best idea I could think of was to just stay in bed! The children occupied themselves in the playroom while I luxuriated with a nap! Horrors of horrors, though. That day, of all days, a group of women representing our church conference decided to pay an unannounced visit. Their spouses were the mentors and supervisors of my husband, the new pastor in this location. I couldn’t get to the bathroom to do some damage control before they saw me and I met them at the door in my pjs and “bed-hair” hoping that the play room had not overflowed into the living room.
Thinking back on that day, my hope has been that those women remembered what it was like to have young children and need a nap, no matter the time of day. I now realize that I was living with an expectation that I needed to be able to do it all. I am fairly incredulous at myself that I didn’t ask my husband for help more often. Was there a valid reason for not letting him know I was nearing exhaustion?
To make life even more complicated–try being an entrepreneur! How does that fit in on top of being a mom? Websites like The Mogul Mom fire me up as I read the blogs and find new opportunities. But in the midst of this excitement, we don’t always stop to take care of ourselves.
As a family therapist and professional life coach, I encounter countless women who deal with their own unrealistic expectations. There is always more that we feel we need to do. And we can do amazing things–but a balance is needed so that we do not miss out on other parts of life that are also important to us.
Here are some ideas and tools to help you develop and maintain balance in your life:
Try writing a mission statement that will serve as a guide for you. Patrick Hull wrote a post in Forbes that suggested these four questions to base your mission statement around:
1. What do we do?
2. How do we do it?
3. Whom do we do it for?
4. What value are we bringing?
Having a mission statement can help you find focus in your business. You can refer back to your mission statement to confirm that your business goals are being met, and maybe feel okay about leaving some emails sit for another day.
Color Code presents a fun study of personalities, using color, that identifies our personality so we can better understand our strengths, growth areas, and most effective way to function. Understanding the way that we work best will help us be more efficient and ultimately lead a more balanced life.
One of my go-to resources is One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page. This little red book reminds us of the importance of listening for a word that can be our guide as we face decisions. It helps you select a word that is unique for you. This year, the word that came to me was “enough” or ENUF as I choose to spell it. When I make my to do list, this word is a good reminder to me to keep in balance.
When I started my own business, Jeanie’s Helping Heart, one of the first things I did was to search for some networking sources. I found two great sources: BNI–Business Networking International and the BiZ Center through the local community college. Not only did they provide resources but held me accountable. Sometimes finding more opportunities will mean less work for you in the end.
It will always be a struggle to find balance in your life. But let’s remember that enough is “ENUF.” Setting unrealistic expectations will get us nowhere. If you really want to succeed, make time to take a nap!
Jeanie would love to hear from you–Do you set unrealistic expectations on yourself? What ideas do you have for maintaining balance in your life? Tell us in the comments below!