Moms juggle many different plates at one time. We want to be great wives and mothers, keep a nice and inviting home; as well as be effective outside of our home either in careers, volunteer work, and/or Christian service. How do we balance it all? Many of us don’t; we tend to over schedule; become all things to all people, over commit and melt away into a ball of stress; leaving us at times completely ineffective for anyone. We can’t be all things to all people! We can only be who we were created to be. We also can’t do IT ALL RIGHT NOW!
God speaks clearly about seasons in our lives and we need to be okay with the fact that we’re in a specific season. If we’re in the season of mothering young ones; that takes up a great deal of our time and it’s time well spent. Our children are in desperate need of our attention, especially when they’re young. Their needs take a lot of time from us, but that is part of the choice to mother. That means there are many things we will have to say “No” to that others won’t understand. As our children grow and begin to make their way into the world securely, because we’ve invested that time, we will have more time to do other things. So we need to balance our time.
I continually remind myself of what season I’m in and how short it actually is. When I graduated with my Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy, I was seven months pregnant. I was contemplating a career in which I had many aspirations; however when I held my son in my arms for the first time, my career seemed very unimportant. I knew this tiny little being needed me; more then I needed an office with a shingle on it. That may seem hard to swallow and I’m not saying as parents we give up all our career aspirations, but they may need to take some time. I continued to work on my hours towards becoming licensed, just at a much slower rate than many others. This also led to a very tight budget and many sacrifices by me and my husband. We lived in small homes and drove hand me down cars (thank God for parents willing to do so). We watched many of our friends purchasing the large homes, fancy cars and take elaborate vacations. Our vacations usually consisted of a tent and rain puddles. The funny thing is our son really didn’t care how small our house or budget was, as long as we sat on the floor and played Thomas the tank engine or hot wheels with him. The truth is at those moments, sitting on the floor together playing and laughing, we truly felt like the richest people in the world.
The day my license came in the mail, I was carrying my second son on my hip while my older son rode his tricycle out to the mailbox with me. They weren’t nearly as excited about that piece of paper as I was. Maybe if I let them finger paint all over it, they would have had the same emotion.
My boys are now 10 and 13 years old and I’m still not working full time. My season is still mostly wrapped up in raising them; however I’m gradually getting more time do other things, as they are not as needy. I still wind my limited counseling, public speaking and teaching around my husband’s schedule. And I still have many aspirations and desires within my career and ministry that are moving along slowly. Right now, I’m just enjoying playing an active role in watching my children grow into wonderful young men. I love to sit at their hockey practices and games and be amazed at what they can do on ice. In due season my children will be pursuing their own desires and dreams and my season will change; opening up more time for ministry or work.
I’m grateful my husband and I have been able to make the financial sacrifices that allow me to stay home and raise my boys. Believe me there truly have been sacrifices and the road has been very difficult at times. Especially with the economy in the shape it is. But I don’t take any of it for granted. I know there are many mothers who would like to be home with their children and can’t.
I’m fully aware that there are many mothers in fulltime work situations because they have to be, not because they would choose it. Divorce, absentee dads, economic pressures, very poor policies for maternity leave has put over half the mom’s in our country into full-time work, many sooner then they preferred. I’m sensitive to their situation, as should the rest of us be.
For these Mom’s they need people to step in and help them. They can’t be expected to do all the house keeping, cooking, taxi driving, etc. while balancing careers and time with their kids. For full-time working Mom’s it’s okay to let some of the house keeping go in order to sit on the floor with your child and play. It’s okay to ask for people to chip in and help with the household tasks and to not feel a need to measure up to someone else’s expectations of you. You’re not a failure if you can’t keep all the plates balancing. It’s okay to figure out which ones matter the most and let the others fall, for THIS SEASON.
I believe it’s time to simplify our lives. To get back to what really matters; family, marriage, kids, loving one another and spending time together. It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the “Joneses” and to enjoy simply hanging out with our kids. That’s really what they want most; our love, our acceptance and our attention!
Mom’s there is no Super Mom! Wonder woman was just a show with a beautiful actress in tights. We have seasons in our lives and we need to figure out what season we’re in and what is most important for that season. As the season changes so do the plates.