Balance just doesn’t exist for me. Laine Griffin and I just did a podcast about this very topic at www.kateandlaine.com. I’m a single mom in the truest form, I am literally the only parent my daughter Eva has in her life. While some single parents have a weeknight when their child goes to the other parent, or maybe even every other weekend, I actually GAIN two children every other weekend when my boyfriend’s two kids come to stay with us. I work out of my home, so right there is roughly 50 hours a week that I am not addressing anything in my personal life. The numbers just aren’t there. Something is always out of whack. If I volunteer at the school, I have to deal with not being at work. If I don’t volunteer at the school, I feel the Cornerstone of Parenthood (Guilt) and disappoint my daughter. If I don’t work out, I turn into someone Atilla the Hun would fear. If I do, again with the guilt because usually while I’m there my daughter is at the afterschool program. I overcompensate by being her Girl Scout leader, soccer coach, backstage dance and gymnastics Mom on the “off” hours and weekends. Does my boyfriend get pissy every time I get out the laptop in the evening to write this blog? Oh yeah. He’s giving me the stink eye over my shoulder right now as I type.
On Saturday, I was trying to get the house cleaned up a little bit before I took Eva to dance which starts at 11am. I was washing dishes, and when I was done I went to talk about the rest of the day with my boyfriend’s daughter. Here’s that conversation:
Me: “Ok so after I drop Eva off at dance at 11, I’ll come home and we can figure out what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. What time is it now?”
Crap. Multi-task Fail. Today, after I picked Eva up from school and went to the gym for my boxing class, we went to Wegman’s for dinner before gymnastics. While I was in the burrito line, (What? I work out for mental health purposes! And I totally read Playboy for the articles), I ran into my Girl Scout co-leader who happened to be next to me in the salad line and we were able to get some real business done! Multi-task Win!
We absolutely careen serendipitously through each and every day. It’s nuts. There’s no balance here, I doubt I would even recognize it. But our life is awesome, and we are *living* it. We get out the door every morning fed and dressed, and we end up clean and in bed each night. I feel like this quest for balance is just another way we moms can get down on ourselves and each other, just another standard we will stress about meeting, or failing to meet. Each parent needs to define balance for themselves and for their family, and measure their success based on their own happiness.
Sometimes I get so tired I really do hallucinate that Unicorn though.