Today is Mom Monday, a day when I talk about my life as a mom. The Centsible Life is a blog about family finance so it’s only fitting that I share my thoughts on mothering.
Balance in life is difficult. Add in the needs of a spouse or partner and it becomes challenging. For many people they add in the needs of another small person or people at some point, and it becomes obvious that everyone needs different things at times. It’s enough to make your head spin. Sometimes that means compromising on what we need to make sure our children get the attention and love they need (even if that means they using the bathroom with a toddler in tow). What many parents find though is that balancing becomes harder the more you add to your to do roster. Whether it’s one parent working and one at home, two working parents, one kid or many it’s often difficult for parents (and in my experience moms especially) to put themselves first at all once your kids’ needs take over.
For many years as a stay at home mom living on one income we balanced the need to pay for our family’s expenses while I stayed at home. Eventually that meant getting into debt, as we found it was hard to save for all our emergencies, and as our family grew so did our spending.
Even then it was tough to find balance. I threw myself into mothering, and identified myself first and foremost as a mom. Mostly this was due to my desire to be the best mom possible to my kids, but it was also partly due to the reality that I had no job prior to having kids, so I really didn’t have a separate identity as a mom, and woman.
In the last two years I have struggled to find ways to help my family financially. After 11 years at home, I just needed to get out of the house, and help contribute to our growing debt snowball. I worked jobs I could squeeze into our family’s busy life, but eventually found I was better off focusing on my blog, and building my own business.
Of course that means things have fallen by the wayside, like nights out with friends or clean laundry, but it’s been worth it. I’ve done some amazing things, been amazing places, and made some amazing friend ships.
People ask me how I ‘do it all’ or how I balance being a mom and my work online. I don’t. I don’t believe in balance anymore. I think it’s a 4 letter word.
I believe in putting one foot in front of the other, and moving forward. If the laundry needs doing it gets done (well at least enough so everyone has clean undies). If the school calls, I drop everything. If I have a deadline and I’m behind, the kids might have sandwiches or brinner for dinner. I might have to forgo a shower for the day. (What? I work from home, it’s not like you have to smell me!)
When I do falter, or feel like I can’t do it all, I’m slowly learning to call in help. That’s why I’ve brought on writers here, hired some household projects out, and I’m considering getting a cleaning person (ok team-what can I say-it’s not a clean life) so I have one less thing to do. I try to let go of the mom guilt, and just accept that sometimes things won’t be perfect.
Most often that help is in the form of my super-husband who sacrifices most everything to put his family first. And when I do falter, he reminds me- one foot in front of the other, and we’ll get there.