How do balance being a wife, mother, employee, Christian, chef, house cleaner, live-in nurse, tutor, Sensei, Jedi, and guardian of the galaxy (plus any of those “minor” roles you might have in life)? This is what we’re going to talk about in this post. Are you ready?
Note: this post was in no way sponsored by Guardians of the Galaxies, Starwars, or anybody else. I do not claim to represent those fandoms on this blog.
How Can You Balance All of Your Roles in Life?
1. Let God Shape Your Priorities
I’m not going to beat you over the head with this point. For those who have been reading Chaotic Life, this is a point that has been well-covered this month in these blog posts:
- The True Key to Finding Balance by Rebekah Hargraves
- Why Christians Weren’t Called to Lead a Balanced Life by yours truly, Lauren C. Moye
- Finding Freedom from Your Burdens (a bonus resource from March’s theme on Freedom, which has lots of great problem-specific posts)
- Why Resting Helps Your Faith and Makes You a Better Mom (it was bound to come up eventually)
It’s no coincidence that this list is starting with God. You see, the Christian life isn’t something that you color in a certain percentage on a pie chart. It’s something that pervades all other areas of our lives. And – sometimes when we begin a task with God in mind – we realize that it’s not a task that we need to be worrying over.
2. Do What You Want (As Long as You’re Following God!)
I think that some of us, in the quest for balance, feel a need to put restrictions on ourselves on when we can or cannot do certain things. For example, I’m really good at taking my daughter into public situations and patiently working through any behavioral issues that pop up. However, I’m also really bad when it comes to not breaking her nap schedule.
The nap schedule is king of our days while the Hubby is at work. And when he gets home, it’s time to prep dinner and cook because he always needs leftovers to take for his work lunches.
The block schedule of naptimes and cooking times help me manage life, but sometimes my relationships suffer because of it. Sometimes I find myself wishing, “I just want to cuddle against my husband and watch a movie tonight instead of working on the blog.” Or I think, “If only all the cool things to do weren’t so far away that they interfere with her naptime, Baby H and I might actually be able to have a change of scenery.”
I love the analogy that Summer shared in a comment on this post:
I tried to lived the well balanced life for years. It was like I had a row of boxes with life labels on them and I kept trying to keep the same amount of colored balls in each box.
So that’s why I’m telling you this now. Do what you want when you want. If you want to spend time with your husband, have a special day with your children, or go see friends, you should spend that time building and supporting those relationships. You don’t have to keep the same amount of balls in each box as long as you follow these rules:
- Don’t keep yourself so busy that you lose sight of God
- Make sure that your most valuable relationships are treated that way
3. Simplify Everything
You know those fancy casseroles and meals that you see on Facebook and Pinterest? Skip them. There’s nothing wrong with simple, plain meals. In fact, as I found out from the Hubby’s coworkers when he brought unstuffed cabbage (of all the things!), sometimes the simple and plain meals are coveted by others.
Unless cooking or cleaning is your stress-relief habit, just simplify the entire process. The house doesn’t have to be cleaned to perfection every week. It just needs to be cleaned well. You don’t have to reinvent meal-times; you just have to provide (hopefully!) healthy nourishment for your family.
4. Quality, Not Quantity
Life isn’t about the amount of time that you spend with people; it’s about the memories that you make. The Hubby and I keep a pretty strong relationship not because we have lots of spare time to spend with each other, but because we stay focused on each other when we do have that time.
We’ve also learned to speak each other’s love languages to make the most of the time that we have together. And – even though he has even less time with Baby H because of her early bedtime – a few minutes of them playing together is enough to keep her asking for him all day long.
So if you want to learn how to balance all of your roles in life, be intentional about how you spend the time with others. Give yourself rest periods to lessen the temptation to mindlessly scroll through social media when you’re with family. Then, focus on enjoying your time with loved ones.
5. Get Help When You Can
There’s nothing wrong with trading babysitting duties with another family so that you can all get stuff done or have child-free time with your spouses. If you have the money, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of the heavier cleaning tasks for you.
Alternatively, you can turn almost anything into a game to get cooperation from your children if you’re willing to put a little bit of energy into making it sound fun. There are actually a few ideas for how to make chores fun in this post if you scroll down.
6. Increased Time Efficiency
And of course, when it comes down to it, the easiest way to better balance everything is to get better at all the tasks that come up under those roles. There’s almost always a way to improve efficiency. Sometimes it just comes down to training your body and mind on how to automatically handle a task, just like a martial artist drills the various moves into their body. (This was me when it came to chopping veggies for meals!)
Sometimes, you just need to learn a new system, like:
- One-man assembly line: Assembly lines work because it keeps each individual’s actions stream-lined. You don’t have to stop and think through the next step, or change the direction that your arm is moving back and forth for a new task. When you’re alone, you can do a one-man version of this by working in sets. For example, peel three potatoes at a time, then chop the potatoes, put them in the bowl, and start over.
- Basket catch-all for cleaning up: Instead of walking back and forth between all the rooms trying to straighten them up, it’s much easier to toss the items that don’t belong into a basket or box. When you move onto the next room, you empty your catch-all of any items belonging to that room while adding to it. Repeat through the entire house.
- Before-bed habits: Spending a few minutes setting up for the next day ensures that you can have a smooth(ish) morning. Want coffee? Just press the button. What should I wear? Oh look, it’s already laid out. Breakfast? Overnight oatmeal. Yum! You get the idea. Mornings with children can be stressful, so making things easier where you can is a big help.
If you’re struggling with the efficiency of something specific, please let me know so I can write something more helpful to you.
So there we go. None of it is anything that hasn’t been said before, but hopefully it sparked some idea on how you can find better balance in your life.
Did I forget something? Leave a comment with your best advice!