You like to get things done, solve problems, and cross things off your to-do list. At work, this is great. You get praise for your organization, decisiveness, and ability to accomplish tasks. But when you apply these same skills at home, you get frustrated because the work is never done, the kids are never content, and you are the only one trying! You try to let go & relax but it’s hard! When it’s time to sleep, your productivity keeps going. You stay up worrying about all the things you still have on your to-do list. You are a good person: hard working, self-sacrificing, and responsible. You enjoy feeling like you are a good, hard-working parent and people can depend on you. So what’s the problem?
The problem is BALANCE. Even though your head might think, “This is a good way to be” “Everyone else is doing it just fine”, your body is telling you different. We all know a “body in motion tends to stay in motion.” So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “A Mommy in stress, tends to stay in stress” and “An analyzing, thinking brain, tends to keep analyzing & thinking all through the night.” To be hard working and responsible all the time, in a 24/7 connected world, is too much for our systems. We can do it for a little while, but when it becomes a habit, we forget how to switch gears.
Productivity feels good but as I sit and write this, I can scan my room and tell you 20 things that “need to be done” (dusting, taxes, shoes & games away, return item to friend, read article, put poster board away, turn off light, replace bulb, return library books, water plant, and on and on and on…. ). This “fixing” energy can dominate my life so that I forget how lucky I am and how perfect and lovely my home and family are. If I’m not careful, everything becomes a problem to be solved.
When we don’t deliberately seek activities that balance us out, our subconscious sneaks it in. Binge watching Scandal late at night with a bag of chips is a sneaky attempt to restore balance. You would never spend two days at a spa with girlfriends but you’ll drink wine every night in an attempt to feel balanced. Our subconscious mind knows we need to goof off, play, receive, relax, and reward ourselves. If you don’t do it consciously, balance will happen without your permission through illness, pain, anxiety, weight gain, and depression.
Whether you look at it as yin & yang, male & female energy, or left & right brain, there is no denying that our bodies yearn for balance. Now that I’ve learned to listen & respect what my body tells me, I no longer deal with the physical pain of my 20’s and the anxiety of my 30’s. We have to stop trying to earn the “hardest working parent” award and make time for frivolous fun! Your health, sleep, joy and well-being, depend on it! No one else is going to do it for you, you’ve got to create it for yourself. I spent two nights, by myself, at Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa when I felt over-worked & over-tired. Having someone else cook for me, bring me food, and clean my room, delightful! Wine tasting, yoga, massage, hiking, a clean hotel room, HEAVEN! Wouldn’t you rather be parented by someone who feels delighted, pampered, and appreciated, than self-sacrificing? At home, I make time hiking, yoga, acupuncture, hot tub, massages, time with girlfriends, Survivor and The Bachelor. Don’t judge me, join me! The key is to do it deliberately, often, and with full joy and no guilt! How do you DELIBERATELY create balance in your life? How does your body create it for you when you aren’t looking?
Give AND Receive.
Work AND Play.
Focused AND Pointless.
Practical AND Silly.
Execution AND Expression.
Busy AND Slow.
Intellectual Stimulation AND Intellectual Rest.
Wired AND Grounded.
Your kids can do both, let them show you how.