So last night I caught up on the laundry.
In addition to the seven (!!!!) baskets you see pictured above, there was another in my bedroom. And, if we’re being honest here, I was really catching up on folding the laundry. The baskets had been in my family room, staring at me, for a couple of days. And, if we’re being super honest here, I really only fold the grown-ups’ laundry, sheets, and towels.
So, really, I caught up on sorting and folding [some of] the laundry last night.
And it still took forever.
While I was doing this, like always, I was fantasizing about laundry fairies… but I was also thinking about that thing we call balance.
Balance is for the Birds!
Motherhood requires a ridiculous amount of juggling. Whether you are working outside the home, staying at home, homeschooling, whatever … everyone is juggling. Even when you consciously try to make enough space between all the things, you are not immune to feeling off-kilter.
I’m often asked, “How do you balance it all?” I receive this question from friends, but also from you guys, our readers. There are so many homeschooling moms out there struggling to balance it all: homeschooling, motherhood, marriage, meals, laundry, etc.
Last night, while I was in full-on laundry mode, I wondered if that is even possible.
This week? This week I was terrible at laundry. Some weeks, I’m a laundry rock star. Other weeks, I’m better at meal planning. Some days, I write a killer blog post. Other days, it seems I’m good at very little.
But, I never feel like I’m rocking all the things at the same time.
Do you know what I think, folks? I think this concept of balance is a nice idea. It’s wonderful to imagine, but in reality, it is impossible. You can try to balance all the things, but – at least in my world- it seems you’re always listing to one side or another.
This week I failed laundry. Meals weren’t all that impressive either. My house is messy. And we haven’t checked off all of the homeschooling boxes that I would have liked. But, I was really good at focusing on my family and each family member’s unique needs. That’s always my first priority as a wife and mom: to love on and take care of my family. Some weeks, for whatever reason, this takes more time and energy and heart and love.
Because, do you know what? Sometimes life feels harder. Sometimes, the news is scary. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, friends get sick, or their children get sick, or their loved ones get sick. And sometimes, families suffer incredibly heartbreaking losses, either loss of loved ones or of something they have worked so hard to build.
Sometimes, it feels like there’s just too much hard stuff around you and all you want to do is to love on your family and be grateful for this moment, right now. Because you know it could change in a blink.
So, no I don’t think there’s such a thing as balance. I think you can try to get close to it, but I think it’s impossible to fully achieve. And I think, sometimes, it’s okay to fully dip to one side and let yourself go wildly off kilter. Because, really, years from now, no one is going to remember that week of fantastically planned dinners, sparkling clean bathrooms, or perfectly folded laundry. Instead, they are going to remember the beautiful moments in between all of those things… even if those moments were spent in a messy house, in jammies, with laundry baskets staring at you.
Quite frankly, I think balance is for the birds.
Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.
~ Rose Kennedy
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram