Finding Balance

The Elusive Balance – Trying To Cope As A New Mother

I wonder how other moms find this elusive balance and the answer came to me about 2 weeks back when I had a private message on the Kaboutjie facebook page from a mom. She was writing to me personally to ask me how I balance being a mom, working, being a wife and being a housewife.

What I found amusing is that she actually thought I was superwoman. I was quite flattered, but more so I was laughing out loud when I read this. I have no idea where she got this idea from that I have balance in my life. I suppose sometimes a person just gets that perception?

So what was my response to this message? I told her the truth about my life. I am not sure if she was relieved that she is normal or disappointed that being a mom and having a balanced life is probably impossible. If anyone has a secret recipe to this balance I would love to know it (along with how to get your baby to sleep through the night!).

Sometimes I see a woman in the shop with a baby on her hip, holding another child’s hand and pushing a trolley looking all serene while doing her shopping. Me, well I can’t even hold my one child and push the trolley straight! When I look at this other woman I somehow think she has it all together. Just because she looks serene at that moment, her babies aren’t fussing and she has no baby puke on her perfect clothing does not mean that is how her life is all the time.

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Finding The Elusive Balance

I had an awful experience in the mall about 2 weeks ago. My daughter was sitting in the trolley and I attempted to buy some cupcakes. I had my hand on my daughter and I was just handed the box of cupcakes when my daughter suddenly stood up in the trolley and fast as lightening launched out. She flew right over my shoulder! I caught her one foot so that the end result was me holding a box of cupcakes in one hand, my daughter was upside down behind my back with me holding her with one foot and of course I was shouting “Oh shit!”….  Is this not a completely different vision to the serene mom and baby on a day out shopping?

Becoming a mom has changed my life in profound ways. I often find myself wondering what exactly it is that I did with my life before I had my baby. I was always busy and always occupied, but what on earth was I doing? It couldn’t have been anything truly meaningful.

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I do know one thing; my life has changed from being very self-involved to in most cases putting someone else’s needs first before my needs.

The example is the typical morning of getting up, changing my daughter’s nappy, dressing her, giving her breakfast, packing her lunch for the day mother, packing her bag for the day mother, making my hubby lunch for work, brushing my daughter’s teeth and washing her face. All this is done in my pj’s and only when hubby has walked out the door to go to work do I have a chance to change out of my pj’s, brush my teeth and wash my face.

The first thing I do when I get home from dropping my daughter off is make a cup of coffee and enjoy 5 minutes without anyone needing anything from me before I start work for the day – this is my daily “me-time”. It is not much, but it is all I can usually get.

There are some days when I feel like Bilbo Baggins when he said he felt like butter spread over too much bread. There is only ONE me and I just can’t get to everything – there are not enough days in a week, not enough hours in a day and if there were I would need the extra energy to get through those hours and days.

So what advice do I have to other moms about balance? I often think of my life like a juggling act. The fact is that I cannot keep all the balls in the air no matter how hard I try. If I try and keep all the balls in the air either they all fall or the one I drop will be the worst one of all. What works for me is I choose which ball to drop while I still have a choice in the matter. This is why my house is often messy, my hair is often not brushed. I usually have my baby’s breakfast on my clothes when I walk out the house and I hardly ever wear make-up.

The truth is that yes, sometimes I long for the days when I could go out or do whatever I wanted without a care in the world, go to bed late and sleep in on the weekends. The truth is also that I wouldn’t change anything in my life, even the bad days. I have a beautiful daughter that lights up my life and an amazing husband.

How do you find balance in your life and what do you do for yourself?

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  1. gosh, makes me wonder how i’ll cope. with baby #1 on the way. i’m actually a bit fearful.

    • Don’t worry you will cope. There’s nothing that god will put you through that you can’t handle and it’s normal to be scared, but trust me you will be a great mom once your little one is born.

  2. It’s good to know that there are other moms that feel the same way and that go thought the same things. I guess it’s all part of motherhood. Sometimes I too long for those late nights with my hubby but I wouldn’t trade my little boy for anything in the world. He brings too mush joy and happiness in my life even though I don’t get time for myself at all. I’m so grateful for all these articles as it helps many women realize that they are not alone. You never know how much love you can have for someone until you a mother and nothing and no one can prepare you for it. I think it’s impossible to be a balanced mom.

  3. sujatha govender

    Well ima 19year old mum with a 1year ols .. I’m up @ 5 getiining hubby ready 4work the starts the never ending housework .. Once we all neat and clean ( me baby n the house ) its time for my driving lessons .. Before u know it hubbys hone its 10pm and time 4 me 2 start studying bcom financial accountimg !!

  4. This is so true. I have had many a day, where I had a shower and just grabbed a hair clip to put my hair up. Never mind the blow-dry. I usually only end up brushing my hair at work or that evening, before bed. My home is also mostly messy. Not because of being lazy or not having the time. But because I know that time spent with my son, is much more important than washing the floor. So while he is a wake, housework comes to a halt. When he sleeps, I look like Speedy Gonzales, trying to do 5 hours worth of cleaning in 2 hours. But there is only so much I can do and I have learned that time is a precious entity.

  5. My mornings are exactly the same. I can’t even remember when last I had time to even think of makeup – it feels like a bit of heaven when I get around to washing my hair. You learn to cope though and your perfectly pedicured image can never fill your heart the way a child does.

  6. Just love this article!!! 😉

    I have had many moments like these and just when I thought I had it all together – it all turned upside down again. My biggest ‘fear’ was how would I cope with 2 kids?! My daughter was 3 when my son was born and boy was it a challenge, but you know what … we are awesome – all of us women – we somehow manage. I was wondering how I would love 2 and cope with 2, but I did – I am!

    Everything will work out, sometime not the way we planned, but it does!

  7. I used to have a balanced life lol. Or atleast I thought I did. Before my babay was born I had a daily routine. I would stay up in the morning 5:20am and get hubby lunch ready for work. As soon as he left. 6:10. I would clean the house. And if washing needed to be hung I would do so as well. By 9:30am for the latest my place would be clean. Would relax with some series and in the afternoon I would finish supper. On saturday morning its time for girls to be washed from head toe toe. Cutting there nails and making them pretty lol. And if I needed to be anywhere I’d make sure house was cleaned first! Well now that baby is here its like a roller coaster. My days are unpredictable but I manage to get everything done. Very tiring but hey that’s motherhood and I wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

  8. THANK YOU for this. Sometimes it feels like your going completely nuts, like you don’t have any time to just breathe or think but I know it gets easier over time (with some mommy experience on your side hehe) I know too that I wouldn’t have it any other way! ♡

  9. wow I take my hat off to you ladies who have to go work and still do what I do! I’m a sahm and its a full time job, can’t imagine how our parents and grandparents did it with 5-10kids at a time. I love being a mom and would not change it for anything! but i must admit there are days I miss that alone time with hubby… it’s amazing how much your life changes after having a baby.

  10. olivia mortlock

    I had a good giggle… I don’t know how I pull off half the stuff I do in a day. So I can relate. I have 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. (12, 8, 2 and 4 months) and what gets me through the days is routine and rescue drops! By the time everyone gets home, everything is done and the two litte ones are settled. I don’t get to have ‘me’ time anymore, but I just love being a mommy, and wouldn’t give it up for the world!

  11. I just pray that God with give me strengh every day!

  12. I dont think theres somethig like a well not in my life..I have a son 12 and daughter 10 then a baby girl of 6 months….and Im still searching for that balance..its difficult if they do sport and other activities..I home school my other 2 kids..but next year they will go to a little primary school in a small town..wr are moving to a small town for the chikdren as I couldnt cope with the city life and mainstream school anymore….I just go with the flow and see whats coming up next..must admit my other 2 kids help me alot having a baby and my own restaurant..its not easy but Im thankful…ohhh and dont forget the other kid you calling husband..:)

    • Yes the other child, the large one that gets man flu LOL.

      I know what you mean about not finding balance. I wrote this post a few years ago and I am still searching for balance in my life. I have to admit it has gotten a little better but nothing close to the right sort of balance.

      I agree with you the small little towns rock, I never would have thought that this is how I would feel but I love living in a little dorpie.

  13. I had to giggle away here, I can totally relate. It is even harder now when the kids are home so much, plus hubby and I are both working from home.

  14. Lol. The question is, what is balance??? I feel like a headless chicken daily. I have my days when I tell myself, I’m going to take things easy and not do so much because I have to catch up on much needed rest… My word, does it ever turn out that way. Food still needs to be cooked, the kids need attention, homework needs to be checked, school bags unpacked(the items that need to come out), chores chores chores, the list is endless. I make lists for myself then I just tick off once that specific chore is done… But their are days when I just don’t look at the list.

    I can go on and on and on…

    • I am so with you on that Jill, that’s why I shared this post so long ago, things were really hard. I have to admit that things are much easier now that my kids are older, the baby and toddler years are no joke!

  15. This is all so true. The balance is something I just tend to do. Breastfeeding while trying to rinse a cloth, getting something in the kitchen, or unlock the door… This, just how we as moms seem to do things, mind you that at the end of the day, this is all really exhausting.

    • It really is tiring, and I am so grateful that things are mostly easier now that my kids have grown up. Honestly I don’t think I was a very good baby mom. I was so tired all the time and so stressed out. My mental health was really not in a good place.

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