Yes, we know, it’s not “officially” summer until June 21st this year, but school is out and the Colorado weather is finally warming up so it sure feels like summer. Yeah!
In our house, one of the ways we maintain balance is by celebrating…a LOT.
We celebrate the start of summer break, and we celebrate the return to school. This year, the kids got out on a Thursday, so we partied on Friday! It started with fresh made doughnuts at the new local donut shop, followed by a trip to Build a Bear and a family lunch out.
We celebrate Friday nights, weekends without tears, Monday mornings, and of course, the usual stuff you probably celebrate, too (birthdays, achievements, project completions, etc.)
There’s magic in celebration, have you noticed? It can lift your mood, make you feel happy, and help you to see all the reasons to be thankful. Have you ever heard the expression “celebrate your wins”? I never used to do this, personally. I might take a minute to feel satisfied, and then it was on to the next thing. I was always too busy living in the future (or the past) to take the time to enjoy the present “win.”
Some time ago, I realized that needed to shift in order for me to be a more balanced parent. As a healer, I’ve worked with too many clients who picked up workaholic habits from one parent or the other, so I realized I needed to set a good example now, so my children could learn balance.
Yes, I know it’s hard. We all get busier every year, and the stress of parenting is great, whether you’re a SAHM, a WAHM (like me) or a parent who works outside of the home.
But it’s essential that we do take the time to restore balance, for ourselves and our families — it benefits everyone in the home.
In my experience, parenting is all about finding the balance. No, I don’t want my kids to worry about how much everything costs, but I also don’t want them to be spoiled and never think about what anything costs. Somewhere in-between, there’s a balance, where you can be aware of money, and understand how it works, without resenting it or taking it for granted or fearing the loss of it. And that’s just one example. There’s a balance to strike about family dinners, household responsibilities, cleaning, cooking, affection, and even a delicate balance from child to child.
I’m not here to say my ways are best (at KidCentered, we believe good parenting is about YOU finding what’s best for you and your family) but I am here to offer a perspective on balance that you may not have considered.
Does your household feel balanced? Or do you feel as though it’s lopsided, with YOU shouldering most of the brunt of work? The good news is there’s no need to be a martyr — it’s fixable! If you’ve got kids, put them to work. Sure, you’ll get resistance for 2-3 weeks, and then they’ll adapt (as long as you stick with your commitment to make them follow through on chores). If you’ve got very young kids (toddler and under) and/or a partner who refuses to help, then take a look at your to-do list and see what’s on there that you could actually stop doing (seriously, I promise you there’s something on that list!). What tasks are you doing because you think you should or feel you must? One at a time, look at them and ask yourself, “Is it essential that I do this?” What will happen if you do not do it?
No matter what your living situation is, you can begin to restore balance to your life by asking yourself this one simple question:
What needs to be added or subtracted from my life in order for me to feel balanced?
(Can also ask this for your family: What needs to be added or subtracted from our lives in order for our family to be more balanced?)
Then, once you have your answer, look for ways you can make that happen. Even if they seem small at first, take heart. It can shift! You can do it!
What small shift can you make today that will begin to restore balance to your life?