As humans we have both needs and wants. Sometimes it’s easy as women to get confused by what other people want as a need. Most women are nurturing, and giving, and tend to over give to the point of losing track of their own needs in favor of other people’s wants. Since almost half of all homes consist of two working parents, and more still consist of a single working mother, it’s more important than ever to find out ways to realistically balance the needs of everyone.
Let Go of Expectations
You’re not superwoman or super mom. Sorry. It would be nice if that was possible but it’s not. You’ve got to let go of some of your high expectations on yourself, and others. Realize that you can’t do everything and that the hard truth is, true balance isn’t possible. Sometimes you’ll have to give up a lot for someone else, and vice versa.
Separate Needs From Wants
Some things are really wants and not needs. Your children don’t need a five course meal each night, and they don’t need to be in 4 sports, or buy name brand clothing. Neither do they need you to clean their room, wash their clothing, or do other things for them once they reach a certain age. Think first whether it’s a need or a want. If you help people with their needs first, then if you have it in you give to their needs you’ll be able to balance better.
Create a Support Network
There are other women in your shoes. If you can create a support network among other women and mothers you can get help when things get overwhelming. You can take turns with driving kids to sports practice, take turns with car pool and even offer to run by the dry cleaners to pick up cleaning if they’re on the way too. Some women even create one night a week they can spend alone with their spouse by relying on other moms who want the same thing.
One way to avoid everything going off the rails is to get organized. An organized home is faster to clean. An organized life helps you manage doing much more in any given day than being unorganized. Imagine not having to look for keys at the last minute, or important paperwork, or forgetting you have an important meeting. It all boils down to organization and including in that organization your off work life and not just your work life.
Sometimes things won’t get done, it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Sometimes children get hurt or sick and all your plans are thrown for a loop. The thing is, if you otherwise have things organized it won’t be hard to rearrange your schedule to get back on track. It can be stressful, but when you accept that this is life with kids, you can handle it a lot easier.
Finally, let your spouse step up. Many men want to help out more around the house and with the kids. But you have to admit that many times they don’t step up and that might be due to your reaction to their efforts. If your husband steps up to do something, don’t critique him for not doing it your way. Thank him. Keep demonstrating the way you like things, and he’ll catch on.