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Life in the Balance

Balance.

How do you create it? Do you intentionally organize your life and your days so that your family, your household responsibilities, your passions, your employers, your clients, and all of the other things that rest upon a woman's shoulders, find balance, peace & harmony. not me, I have tried. Oh, how I think some days that if I just sat down and did some kind of formula that it would all fit together.
How do you create it? Is that possible?

I would not be who I am without having had children. I have been very self-conscious in varying degrees through most of my life. When it came to having children, I was more than a little freaked out thinking this precious child is going to come into the world, and out of me- do I have the strength? can I do it?' Not only did I, but both of our children have been born at home with the help of our lovely, lovely midwives; and a strength arose in me that I am not sure I would have discovered otherwise.

I love my children, unlike a love I have ever experienced. They have brought a new reality of what commitment really means into my life. But I must say.....there are days when patience is nowhere to be found. I think of the mother I want to be, and see how I am not. I ache to follow my passions and create, and then a child dumps the compost bucket on the floor and the other starts whining about something not being fair. I get frustrated, impatient, annoyed and defeated. Some days, honestly, my children are not my priority. Some days, I just want to sit at the computer and work away at a project, or finish a book I can hardly put down or just put a pile of papers somewhere and know that in 5 minutes they will still be in the same place.

Reading the posts of other mothers here who are deeply involved in projects they have started or are working on, or in a career, or just living life as they are, I wonder- do you have balance? Is that a goal? I am thinking of a post I read recently by Jaime, about being a perfectionist and a gymnast, and I think of her balance. Is it possible only when we try to discipline ourselves enough?

Comments

I enjoyed reading your post. Yeah! children bring joy to their parents most definitely. Balance is all about prioritizing and multi - tasking. I believe we can all achieve doing what we love best by managing our time well and being disciplined.

Peace!
Fatima

Darcey's picture

thank you!

Hi Fatima

it is good to hear from you!!! I find that most of my days are fairly productive.
I work part-time in the evenings, 7/14 nights from 8pm-midnight with adults that have developmental disabilities. During the day, I am home with an almost 3 year old son and our daughter is in kindergarten every other day. I have learned to write everything in my calendar as much as possible so that when I have a few spare moments, I can get something done for our home in general, or more lovely to me towards the MotherKind network in the works. Multi-tasking is definitely a big part of my world!
Thanks for your advice....I think it is important as you said to remember that it is about doing what we love best. As for the time management....it's a work in progress!

stay blessed, talk to you soon!
Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

Hi Darcey,

I really loved reading your post. I feel like I must first state that I am not a mother. Rather a very appreciate daughter, who cannot grasp the strength and patience that my mother has shown me throughout my life.

I guess in regards to balance, my mom has been trying to become Balanced her whole life as well and that is how she introduced me to yoga, which I now teach.

As a yoga teacher, I often talk to students about balance on a physical sense. For instance, if you try and physically stand on one leg, you discover that yes, you need discipline and focus on one point. But, I have also found that balancing is not about being stable in one place but rather a dance between wavering one way and then another. It is not still, but shaky. It is a play of opposite forces working so closely between each other that the body appears still. You also find that falling is not only going to happen but that it is in fact necessary for you learn how to stand better afterwards. I think balance is not about never falling, never losing patience, never becoming a little less disciplined but rather more about how we waver back onto the tightrope afterwards.

It sounds like your children bring you so much joy. They are lucky to have you as a mom.

I wish you happy balancing,
anna

anna lag

Anna!
Thank you. I studied yoga for some time, lived at an ashram in the mountains of BC for a year...so, even though it has been QUITE some time since those days, seeking balance is still a part of who I am.
The tree pose absolutely reminds me of balance and what you were saying, about wavering, I always remember that I can stay rooted, even though there may be things that shake me. It is so funny, because my 5 year old daughter has picked up on the tree pose and she will come up and show me how she can do it too.
Oh, bless your lovely mother. Being a mother is not easy, but as much as I lose my patience, I keep in mind what values I would like to instill in my children as they grow. So, they have done their share of litte activisms by default...but that what it is all about to me. I don't really know you that much, just from this wonderful access we have to WorldPulse/Pulse Wire, but your mother has done a wonderful job!!

I have enjoyed your reply, and maybe you could do the tree in your next class!!

blessings,
Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

LauraB's picture

Balance

Darcey,

I hear this challenge and frustration from mother's so often. I'm not a mom, and I find it challenging enough to find balance. I taught elementary school for 5 years and I felt like a second mom to many of my students....and it was next
to impossible for me to find balance. Needless to say, I've transitioned to teaching adults. I think our society needs
some major tweaking so women can find balance for themselves. What do you think would make it easier to find the balance?

I hope that writing your thoughts here is helpful...loved reading your post.

Warmly,

Laura

Darcey's picture

a vacation.

Ha!
Thanks for your reply Laura. I received all three replies at the same time, and it made me once again remember why I am so absolutely grateful for this community. Honestly, I really didn't expect any replies because i thought I didn't make much sense after I read it and that I was on a little rant. So...all I can say once again is thank you for sharing and taking the time to reply.
That in itself is a huge help.

The thing that gets difficult is when I have the energy to do what I need to, but my son has so much energy and is into everything because he is still so young, that if it is quiet for 5 minutes, I have to run to find out what is going on- and believe me, it usually isn't good. ;) The frustrating part is not being able to sit at the computer to do work during the day because he requires attention, and trying to divide it all up works at times, but then at others nobody gets 100%, which can end up in wasted time and crankiness all around.

i really am not sure at times what would make it easier to find balance (except for more vacation as I mentioned..) I think as Fatima said, finding balance by prioritizing what it is we love and having focus and discipline as well. Even with me taking time for myself, it is a discipline to actually follow through with it and not do 3 more stories before bed time or just one more thing before I get to my own priorities.

hope you have a great day!!! & many blessings to you too ;)
Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

mamaAfrica's picture

You are not alone

Dear Darcey,

I read this post today, and I think I want to comment because I find myself in the same position. I do try to find some balance but honestly it aint working out. My son is turning three in September and he is at an age where mamma should be everywhere he is playing. I can hardly finish my work that why at times my posts have many spelling mistakes. Not because I dont care but dont have time to re- read.

when my son is in kindergaten during the day, I find time to do my first job- Project Africa's, then go to the University where am pursuing my higher education, then go to my second job and sometimes even the third because I have to raise funds for the project.

How do you manage all this, You may ask. well I do daily chores? I do have planned what can be done weekly, monthly, and daily. I try to cook enough and store just incase we are late with cooking we can get alternatives. There are days that I keep off town and friends and project and work and school and give all to my son. He is adorable and being with him revitalises me. But there days that I come from work put him to bed and spend the whole night working on my computer because the work load is much.

Not along ago, I remember being overwhelmed by every of my undertakings, and I had to call my mentor and ask her how does she manage to be a single mother and a successful social entreprenuer. I thank God for this wonderful lady, She told me to take time off and concentate on me. And sure, the advice was rewarding

This far I think I am still struggling to find balance. But one thing I vowed to myself is that I will take care of me. and that is doing that which I feel I draw strength and inspiration from. Not that I neglect my son, but sometime I am the priority and my needs come first. Remember, I think I have given much of me to other people ( my sibblings, friends, women in the project, the project staff etc) and sometimes I feel I must give the same attention to me. Thus I take time to pursue my dreams.

Does that make me a good or bad mother? I will leave that for thoughtful comments. All I know is that In being overwhelmed one tends to think they are not good enough. At least that is what I thought. But I have since realised that no mater what, balance for a mother is finding that which makes you happy because in joy you give positively to your children and to others. Also realising that apart from being a mother one is also a woman. And that "woman" has needs too that must be taken care off.

Thank you for sharing about balance. It has made me think about the subject as well and reflect on issues as a mother and a woman with life goals.

mamaAfrica

Darcey's picture

good news

Oh my dear friend

I re-read your post, and can relate to so many points you have made. First of all, the question of whether or not we are 'good' mothers. You know, as far as I am concerned, we may not give our children 100% of our attention, but I think in the end, as they can grow and say 'look at what my mama has done....look at who I am because of what she has taught me....look at what I have learned of life and how to love and give....' I think that if what we are doing is out of love for our Lord, and for our love of others from in our hearts, then our Lord will be faithful and help us in our journey with our children.

Taking care of ourselves is so important though. I have some health issues that I absolutely neglect most of the time because I get too busy and i know if I don't take care of myself then I am no good to others when it all catches up to me. But that keeps us in check too, don't you think? Like Paul- how much he did and gave and was still humbled to know we are just human and we can make mistakes. As Project Africa grows, your burden can be shared by others who want to participate with you and take some of the load, there may be bumps, but if our focus in our hearts remains true, then at the end of the day I believe we can find peace in that.

thank you again for what you are doing. I am so honoured to know you, and to be getting to know you better as we partner, and write and share thoughts.

thank you for inspiring me to keep going. I am thankful for the women sitting out in the sun, in buildings and caring for children as they write to all of their rafikis. my life is richer for the friendship that has begun with my own.

Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

laughterlove's picture

Hey Darcey, I think balance

Hey Darcey,

I think balance is a myth. The universe operates at extremes. It is only over time that it appears balanced. Thanks for sharing! I think most moms feel the same :)

Val

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

Darcey's picture

;)

LOL

I was like Val who?? ha ha ha ha....
that was a particularly unbalanced day. somedays are much better and I think that I can do a great job of being very focused on my responsibilities and still taking the time to relax, which for me is some kind of time to wander in one way or another...

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

E's picture

Rocking to and fro..

that's what I'm doing as I read all of these messages. It feels good to rock, to sway. There was a massive earthquake in NZ last week, and what we felt up north was that back-and-forth shift. So to feel the Earth move, and settle again, reminds me of that calm balance afterwards, and the plumb-line centeredness that can be so still even through the shaking of the Earth... balance.. small adjustments.. to..maintain it.. I think of a tightrope walker.. and potting clay on a wheel, like when your bowl goes off balance a bit and then flop flop FLOP it's off. and then you smush it into a ball and start again. A lump in the centre.. and then spinning and spinning, trying to stay balanced..

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