During the summer children every where sign up for swimming lessons. It may be their first lesson or one to help build technic. They jump in following instructions and slowly begin to make their own waves.
Scheduling work and family sometimes feels like treading water. At first, it seems easy and your head is well above the surface. Then, you get tired and sink a bit. Next thing you know your legs feel like bricks and you are unable to keep the sink clear of dishes or the floor clear of toys. The struggle is real.
Parenting is a balancing game. Everyone needs some of your time and there is never enough to go around. I do not have the answers, as you know, I make it up as I go, but, I have realized a few things since becoming a mom six years ago.
First, teamwork is not just for the sports field. It also goes toward errands and chores. Working together and teaching your kids to help, helps.
Second, prioritize your time. When you look back on your life you want to see that you spent that time wisely. That has been difficult for me, because it meant I would have dirty dishes on the counter and hampers full of clothes from time-to-time, but I’d have that memory of playing pirates with my three year old and shooting hoops with my oldest. It means I enjoy them while they still want to spend time with me. Beats a few dirty dishes any day of the week.
Third, being a parent is leading and teaching by example. Your kids see how you take care of yourself and they see how you take care of your relationships. That includes your partner, family, friends, neighbors. I struggle here. Finding time for date nights, finding time to shave my legs, finding time to meet a friend for coffee. When free time presents itself, a nap seems like a good idea. Nights when the boys are in bed early screams read a book, watch a movie, shave those legs, or . . . fall asleep thinking about doing all the things. And don’t get me started on a workout schedule. So how do parents stay afloat? How do parents stay sane?
I think it is just like treading water. Sometimes you need to relax a little bit to stay above water and sometimes you need to get yourself to the wadding pool! Heck, sometimes you need to find yourself a beach chair and a big floppy hat and stay out of the water!
The bottom line, everyone needs something different. Someone else’s secret may not work for you. Take a few suggestions, but swim in your own lane. Heck, if you need floaties, use them. After all, being a parent does not come with an instructor, but it doesn’t have to be sink or swim either.
I share my ideas here. Take um or leave um, change them or laugh at them. One of my favorite reminders to parents is that you are their perfect parent. Faults and imperfections included. So throw on your super hero cap and dive in!!