The summer Olympics just passed and it’s amazing to watch the gymnasts on the balance beam. Walking a straight line on solid ground is no problem for me. Placing a four by four piece of lumber on solid ground, again, is no problem for me to walk on. When the beam is raised by a foot, or maybe two, I am still confident in my ability to walk on it. But walking on it and doing flips, or any other activity is out of the question. That is completely out of my comfort zone.
Situations, very often, demand young mothers work. Sometimes they work because of a career that began before marriage and children, so it’s a choice. But in either case, “work” steals precious time from their young ones.
When this happens, it becomes much like the gymnast on the balance beam. Before marriage and children, it was relatively easy to walk on the balance beam. As new responsibilities were added, a flip or two could be accommodated, and sometimes many flips or other activities could still be done with an extraordinary amount of agility. But then things changed. Flipping or other “stunts,” even when familiar, are no longer desired. Priorities have changed. A sense of balance becomes harder because their focus is no longer on the “beam” but rather on their life beyond the balance beam.
While still desiring to be productive in their chosen career or other interest, there is also the yearning to be complete with their spouse and the need to fulfill their deep seated maternal instinct. All of this takes a great deal of dedication to enable accomplishment in “all that is out there” and not lose our sanity!
Sometimes we need to just sit back and “be!” There are those who suggest a career change that enables more time off. Others suggest stopping work completely until the young ones are in school. I know a teacher who did just that! After a dozen years out of the teaching realm, she has re-entered the workforce and is happy with her decision. She says she is grateful for the time she spent with her children, since she knows she can never reclaim that time.
Others advise just saying “no,” while another recommend doing what is really important when you do have time away from work. Forget the house work and cheat on dinners. Spend time with your spouse and children.
Our lives are so short and the lives of our children “as young children” is even shorter! The most important thing a momma can do for them is be there when they are needed. Grab them with your whole heart, hug and love on them; and treasure each moment always.
So I challenge you to reflect on the time you are giving away to someone or something that doesn’t care if you make it through your day or not, doesn’t love you, and doesn’t really matter in the short term. Love and enjoy your family and make sure you allow some time for yourself. Because if you don’t, you end up so tired and spent, you’re not going to be good for them or yourself!