On Finding Balance

Balance.  We are all searching for it.  Some have found it.  I have been struggling with it.  Balancing being a wife, a mother, a business owner, a friend.  Balancing laundry, cleaning, playing with my kids, creating products for other teachers, scrapbooking, relaxing, reading, blogging.  Life is a balancing act and I will be the first to admit that I have been on the struggle bus to find balance in my life.

I don't like to fail at anything.  So if I commit to something, I see it through.  In my head that means if I want a product completed by a certain time, it needs to get done.  If I want a new scrapbook layout each week, it needs to happen.  If I join a linky party, I need to keep up with it each week or month.  But let me tell you, that gets exhausting.  Before I left for Vegas, I realized I was so stressed and overwhelmed with things I told myself I needed to do.  Deadlines I gave myself.  Pressures I put on myself.

And then I went to Vegas.  And something changed.  I am not sure what exactly but I think it was a combination of things.  Here I am surrounded by these amazing TpT sellers, learning how to improve my store, adding to my to do list and yet all I could think about was how much I missed my girls and my husband.  Yes, the same ones I couldn't wait to get a break from.  I couldn't call home or video chat or even think about them without tearing up.  And then there were all the other teachers turned stay at home moms that I met.  In all of our conversations, a common theme was finding balance, trying to do it all and remembering why we were doing this in the first place.  

So while everyone came home from Vegas fired up and ready to get to work, I came home and took a break.  I needed to just be with my family and not worry about work.  I needed to work on my schedule with no pressure of needing to blog, or market, or create at a certain time.  I went back to the basics.  If I was going to spend any time working, it would be on creating and updating products.  Period.

Last week I did something crazy.  I took the girls to a splash pad/park and left everything in the car.  On purpose.  I am rarely without my phone because I use it to document (and then scrapbook) our every day life.  But on that day, I decided life would go on if our scrapbook didn't have pictures of our day at the park.  We had fun and played and did what the girls wanted.  When they were hungry we ate.  When they were done with the water, we moved to the playground.  They had my undivided attention.  I didn't care about the time or getting them home at exactly the right time for naps.  I didn't worry about taking pictures or documenting our life on Instagram.

And you know what?  Life went on.  Life goes on if you don't have your phone in your hand.  Life goes on if you aren't checking in on social media.  Life goes on if you don't scroll back through Instagram to the last picture you remember seeing so you don't miss anything in your feed.  Life goes on when everyone else joins Periscope and you can't think of adding one more thing to your plate.  Life goes on when you don't blog.  Life goes on when you don't join a linky party, even if a friend is hosting.  Life goes on when the laundry piles are taller than your kids.  Life goes on when dog hair is all over your floors.  Life goes on.

This whole TpT/blogging life would never have happened for me, if I hadn't decided to quit my job to raise my family.  And I have to remind myself that.  A LOT.  My family needs to be my priority, bottom line.

Here is why this is hard.  I like working.  For the first time in my life, I LOVE working.  Creating products for other teachers (and for myself) makes me happy.  It relaxes me.  It gives me a purpose.  I don't see it as work which is why I think it is often hard to shut it down.  I also work for little bits at a time while my girls sleep so I am always in the middle of something and need just a few more minutes.

But I can't do it all.  And you know what?  That's okay.  Nobody expects me to but me.  And I am learning to just let it go.  I am not perfect.  I do not have all the answers.  I have not found balance or changed my ways.  But I'm working on it.  I am trying and failing some days but I am trying nonetheless.