Since becoming a mom, I’ve been struggling to find balance between being home with my kids and the need for time to work and explore personal interests. My first attempt to find balance led to the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. Balance wasn’t found, which I discussed a bit—here—a few weeks ago.
My next attempt was yoga teacher training. The training was every other weekend for six months. It was a glorious six months. Mentally and physically challenging, yes, but glorious in the time that it gave me to pursue something I cared so much about.
I attempted to do contract and volunteer work in my old profession after my second child was born, but it left me drained. Simply staying home also left me drained. I knew there had to be a middle ground. That middle ground is finding activities that energize me and help me better appreciate this opportunity I have to be so involved in my children’s lives. With young children at home, I have found that whatever I do that isn’t directly related to them, has to be very personal. The time I spend away from them must be nourishing and it must—in some way—recharge me.
The yoga training and the resulting teaching opportunities have helped me see the qualities that need to exist for me to feel recharged by my non-family activities. I still question, however, what the right balance is. What is the personal time to at home with the family time ratio? Of course, this changes from day-to-day, week-to-week. I go through phases wherein all I want is personal time, and I really resent being home so much. I’ve also found that if I’m not home enough, I feel off balance. I need my home life to stay balanced, too. (The reason I chose to start staying home full-time in the first place.)
I also struggle to keep all of this in perspective. Many moms aren’t financially able to stay home with their kids. Many moms don’t have spouses that want them to have outside interests. And many moms don’t have spouses or any support structure that gives them the freedom to pursue other interests and find a balance.
I realize that much of this discussion is self-indulgent. Nonetheless, I struggle with it and it’s real to me.
I will continue to strive for balance. To remember to appreciate my current role in life. To understand that time passes and before I know it very little of this will be an issue.