I feel like the modern homemaker, wife and mother is in constant search of this thing called balance.
News flash: there is no such thing as balance.
Now if you pride yourself in being the queen of balance and have your home, kids and work life all managed smoothly then maybe this article isn’t for you.
But for those of us still struggling to find the perfect balance, come on in and let’s chat.
No Such Thing as Balance in Homemaking
Even though I am relatively young in my homemaking journey (6 years) I have friends asking me how I do it all.
I don’t do it all.
I just happen to do some of the homemaking things that they want to do. What they don’t see are all the domestic things I don’t do.
Truth is, when we long after something someone else does or has, that seems to be the only thing we can focus on. That becomes our desire so badly that we forget about the sleepless nights and extra time in the kitchen required to fulfill that extra homemaking skill.
Read More: How to Make Homemade Bread
There is no such thing as balance; only trades.
Let me explain.
Balance implies that you are able to do anything and everything you want if you could just manage your time and family better.
I feel like this lie “You can do anything you want!” has been taught from such a young age that we never question it. And maybe that’s a good thing.
But from a sanity point of view, you really can’t do everything you want.
You can only choose what you will trade to make your dream come true.
Will you trade 8 years of your life and all that money to become a doctor?
Will you trade that extra hour of sleep in order to get up early and have some alone time?
Will you trade being the main caretaker of your children in order to have a career?
Will you trade that extra half hour of cleaning house in on making a more nutritious supper?
Every minute we make trades whether we realize it or not. Sure, we may think of it as balance, but there is no such thing as balance because you can’t do it all.
Read More: 4 Habits to Make You a Better Homemaker
Balance in Homemaking
So when a friend comes to me and asks how I do it all, I really try to think before I speak and choose my words wisely.
If she is a career woman, then that is her trade. She is trading her time to have extra money. With her extra money she can afford the healthier ice cream at the store and shouldn’t worry about finding time to make it at home.
I, on the other hand, am not a career woman. I trade my time (by making it) to be able to provide the healthier ice cream for my family.
Ever hear the phrase “Time is Money?” When you think of it in terms of trade, it’s so true.
I trade my time to clean my house.
Another woman trades her money to have her house cleaned.
I trade my time to grow, can, freeze and cook nourishing food for my family.
Another woman trades her money to buy nourishing food for her family.
So when it comes to homemaking, really it is what you trade for the life you want. I have to not be envious of someone with a cleaning maid because she is trading money to have her clean. I trade my time to clean.
Read More: How to Be a Joyful Homemaker
When It’s Not Your Choice
The dream “You can do anything you want!” can be snatched from your hands unwillingly.
You could lose a spouse and be forced to return to work full-time. A handicapped child could demand all your time. Financial struggle could only allow for mac n cheese and tuna for supper.
These are still trades, just trades forced on you rather than you choosing them. In these instances, you really scoff at the term “balance” and just try to survive.
No Balance in Parenting
Sometimes I think because I “only” have one child I shouldn’t speak on parenting. But then someone else out there “only” has one child, too, so she can relate to me. And mothers of 7 can chuckle, shake their heads and move on. 😉
There is no such thing as balance in parenting, either.
When my son was an infant, he required much more care and feeding than he does now. When my son is sick, he requires much more attention and comfort than a healthy day. And when he becomes a teen and struggles with an issue in school, he may require more time than an infant.
On days when I’m baking or cleaning, I can’t give as much attention to my little guy because I am choosing to trade time with him to keep our home running.
Other days I choose to play outside with him all day and no housework gets done. It’s not about balance every minute, every day. It’s trades I make in the moment for what needs I see in my family and my home.
Trades Aren’t a Bad Thing
Sure, some trades are less than pleasant or forced on you.
But for the most part, you can work to make trades fun. Let your kids help with chores around the house. Make laundry a team effort. Create excitement around Dad coming home from work, trading his time for money.
Celebrate the sacrifice everyone made. Whether it’s paying off debt or decluttering the basement, everyone made trades of some sort. Have a game night or a picnic in the living room.
No Such Thing as Balance – Only Trades
Sure, I still think about finding balance in my life and wishing for it. But when I really sit down and dissect this word “balance” I come to visualize it differently through trades.
Balance becomes more give and take; not everything, all the time, all at once. It becomes a deliberate choice that I have to make: either this, or that. Not everything in “balance.” I place more value on the time or money I am trading in order to accomplish my desire.
Be intentional with your life moments. Choose carefully what trades you are willing to make because there is no such thing as balance.