A Balancing Act

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Categories Parenting

I have noticed recently that the hot trend in Mommy blogging is focusing on how to balance life.  So I’ll jump on the balancing blog bandwagon here and discuss how I do it.  Or maybe it should be how I don’t do it.  You see, I don’t think I really balance anything.  It’s fairly safe to say that I’ve just given up.  Not in the sense of being a quitter but more along the lines of let-it-go-so-I-don’t-go-over-the-edge.

My husband and I both work full time.  In the city.  Which means that we spend two hours a day commuting.  I am tempted to refer to those two hours as wasteful but really that time gives me some “me time.”  Although it is “me time” confined to a stinky, crowded train with questionable climate control.  Those two hours give me time to write, read, sleep, dream, ponder the clothing choices and sanity of others, solve suduko puzzles, catch up with friends and occassionally (gasp) have a somewhat real conversation with my husband.

A normal workday means that I am gone from the house for at least ten hours.  And on days when I work overtime, which in the wonderful world of tax happens quite frequently, I am usually absent for more than twelve hours.  This leaves little time for all that needs balancing.

Although my triplet girls are almost 28 months old, I feel that we are still in a transition-type of survivial mode.  I do what I need to get through the day and don’t worry about the rest.  This means that sometimes sleeping in takes importance over finishing the laundry.  Or that playing with the girls comes before cleaning the bathrooms.  Or that taking a nap takes preference over putting away the laundry.

I have learned to accept the fact that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all that needs to be completed so I simply focus on what I need to get through the day.  And sometimes that means that not much on my to-do list is accomplished but I’ve kept my balance. 

I have given up on trying to be a superhero and do it all.  Will it matter five years from now that my laundry sat piled on the loveseat in my bedroom for three weeks before I put it away? Nope!

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How do you balance?

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13 thoughts on “A Balancing Act”

  1. I, like you, do what is utterly important. I usually wash when we run out of something, and the kiddos clothes are washed way more than ours. But I agree, spending time as a family is way more important at this time in their lives. I will have plenty of time to do house work when they are older and more self sufficient.
    .-= jamie cz´s last blog ..And we’ll drink to 12… =-.

  2. Sarah, you have the answer… in the whole grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if the laundry got put away as soon as it was finished or if the bathroom sparkled once a week. I have 3 sons and and 2 daughters and my bathroom sparkles only until the next boy walks in to use it, 30 seconds after I”ve cleaned! As your daughters get older, things will get easier. You’ll still never have everything done, but life does get easier to manage when they are better at feeding themselves, are potty-trained, and can get dressed and make their own beds. For now, you have the right approach. And working is a fact of life and although I’m sure you miss your daughters, those hours of being out in the world are fulfilling in their own right.

  3. Gosh – I hate to say it but this makes me never want to go back to working. It just seems so hard to get everything done.

    I was actually talking to my mother about this and we agreed that if you didn’t have to go back to work full time (financially speaking), what was the point? Unless you LOVE your job, it just seemed like too much. I would still have all the same household responsibilities but at least 40 less hours to do them. So, when I go back to work, it will probably only be part-time, at least until my kids are older – maybe when they can drive themselves places.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Too many cooks? =-.

  4. I don’t work – but sad to say I am presently sitting next to a very tall pile of laundry that needs to be put away. And when weekends roll around and my husband and I should be getting stuff done we inevitably just hang out and play with our 21 month old and our newborn. There is no balane happening here but I think our kids are happy and like you said who is going to remember how long we left a room messy. No we will remember our time with our babies.
    .-= Mandy´s last blog ..And I Quote =-.

  5. Wow, it’s amazing to here about your life as a mommy to multiples [plus one, I saw your blog :-) ] and are working outside the home! Your story of having identical triplets amazes me…what a blessing! I’m a SAHM of twin girls [identical] and have a hard time balancing…yada,yada, yada. I’d like to start some sort of calendar for housecleaning to rotate chores every week or something, but yet have done it. I just try to do what I can when I have time and leave the rest. Yes, I do find time to blog and facebook, etc, because I need a break from being on my feet all day chasing toddlers. I’m working on going to bed earlier so I’m not so exhausted during the day, but, it’s not really working…I’m still exhausted!

  6. I am an engineer with a defense company and they are great because they have a work/life balance policy there. Which means that I can flex my hours, as long as I have the approval of my section manager and the project manager. So I work from 6-2ish so I can get the kids by 3PM. This allows me to take them with me on whatever errands, take them to the park, library, etc and then get home to make dinner. I leave all the cleaning to my hubbie since he is much better at it.
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Playmates: for me or for them? =-.

  7. Actually, my balance comes from the fact that I do work. At least, that helps the mental part of the equation. :) We’ve never been neat freaks in our house, and even less so since the boys arrived. But we have had to do a lot of decluttering. So that helps.

    My job is very understanding, and that helps a lot too. I can take them to the doctor whenever they need to go, and things like that. Even bring them into the office if I have to.

    Going back to work was primarily a financial decision, but for my mental health, I’m glad I had to. :)
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Two? =-.

  8. I work quite a bit too – and have to financially. I completely agree with you. 6 months after returning to work I feel like I’m still trying to “survive”. One thing we do try to do is make one fun weekend event each weekend so we can feel like we are making memories and not just passing time.
    .-= Mommy, Esq.´s last blog ..Returning Home After Vacation =-.

  9. I think it’s survival mode and no matter our circumstances, we’re all striving for a perfect balance. I’ve walked all three lines of motherhood — SAHM, WAHM and Full-time working out of the home. They are all hard. None of which are harder than single motherhood and working full-time, which I have been lucky to avoid despite my cranky nature at times toward my hubby.

    My balance is this: Children first. Always. Except when I need to put me first. That happens. Housework last. Dead last. Unless it has to be first and then I put it first but knowing that I can get the twins involved for fun and it will make me happier in the end. Work, for me, is always important but I know I have to take sick days and personal days and work from home ot manage it all. It’s flexible and that is soooo important in motherhood.

    Balance. It’ a fine line.
    .-= SHawn´s last blog ..What gets me writing =-.

  10. I’m with Shawn, housework is usually the first thing to go. People ask silly questions like “how do you do it all?” The answer? “I don’t.” I like to sew while the kids are asleep. It makes me happy. But you know what that means? I’m not using that time to tidy my house or do any number of other things.

    Of course, I should really use more of that time to exercise, but that’s another issue entirely. :-)
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Canis non grata =-.

  11. I have Irish Triplets and work outside the home and quite frankly, I don’t balance much of anything at all. I feel like I do everything at 65% and that is a constant source of anxiety for me. I am always angling for a way to quit working outside the home, but there are days when I look forward to going to work, not going to lie. Balancing it all, so very hard.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Two For Tuesday – Monkey See =-.

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