The balancing act of motherhood requires constant effort. Sometimes, I visualize myself spinning five delicate glass plates on top of a tall, skinny pole. My first instinct is keep them from crashing to the ground as to avoid the clean-up. Top priority plates may spin faster than others and some may slow down when I start to grow weary.
What I have come to realize is though the plates may spin at various speeds and go different in directions, it is possible to keep them all steady. Sounds a lot like motherhood, right? Though the chores and activities and obligations pile up, the multi-tasking and on-the-job training as a mom enables me stable the wobbly plate before it falls. Such is the balance of all things in the world of motherhood. Itís not expected that you keep all plates spinning at the same rate; merely keeping them all going without falling is truly an accomplishment.
With summer wrapped up and kids in school, the plate spinning is changing. Back-to-school time is the perfect time to start spinning the plate with your name on it a little faster. Reclaim yourself and commit to getting yourself back on track.
With that, I am happy to share a few tips that have been personally successful in spinning my plate faster:
1. Make a date with yourself
One of the best ways to start this process is to actually get out of your house and go somewhere quiet. Plant yourself in a library, a coffee house, wherever you can find some peace and, possibly, inspiration. Personally, if I am at home, it is easy to keep the focus off of myself by doing a load of laundry or cleaning up dishes. It helps me to actually make an appointment with myself Ė out of the house Ė and, most importantly, to keep it.
2. Seek new opportunities to grow outside of your comfort zone
Make it a point to read a new book, sign up for a cooking class, or join a Zumba class. Get a new hairstyle, take an art class, learn a new instrument, or volunteer for a cause that means something to you in order to have some new experiences.
3. Take care of yourself
Schedule your annual pap test with your OB/GYN, your annual mammogram, and annual dental appointment. Do you ever notice we, as moms, tend to put ourselves last on to-do-list when it comes to our health? The irony of it is that we have to stay healthy in order to care for our family. Make your annual appointments and go so that you stay healthy for your family and yourself.
4. Connect with Friends
Somehow over the summer I tend to let my own friendships fall to the side. I suppose it is because I am, like you, spinning the plates so fast that I just run out of time. With the kids back in school, make a list of friends that make you laugh, inspire you, and empower you. Set up a coffee date, a time to go for a walk, or meet for lunch. Friendships and a good support system are vital for us moms. If you are like me, a visit with a good friend will reenergize you.
5. Just Breathe
While it seems to be a comically simple concept, itís an important one. Once the kids are out of the door, take a deep breath. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Sometimes I find myself so busy that I actually hold my breath without realizing it. With the schedule shifts, take some deep breaths, just be still, and embrace the change!
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