So I told you we put our youngest in daycare twice a week, right? This was to open up some time for me personally and professionally. Personally, this would give me a chance to catch up on (and maintain) some self-care, get to the gym, meet friends for tea or lunch or whatever people do when they hang out during the day – in real life. Also, it would give me a chance to get in my creative practices like piano, handlettering, and reading novels. Blogging is a whole lot easier in a quiet space so that gets added to my daycare days. Oh wait, there’s also the housework which of course is always easier without having to meet anybody else’s needs every 5 minutes.
Um, so you can kind of see how two days can be filled quite quickly, especially because mid-afternoon the school-aged kids take over my space. But that was also the point. I get two afternoons a week with just the two big kids which means I can have conversations with them, focus on actually watching their activities (instead of chasing a toddler around) and even get some 1:1 time with one while the other is in a lesson. Having this time with them has been awesome – and even though we keep feeling like someone is missing, I know they are enjoying having so much more of my attention.
Today I even met my husband for lunch; he popped the question – “Want to meet for lunch?” – in the middle of the morning madness of getting everyone out the door, and I almost heard the angels singing. Such lovely words.
I now also have some time to run errands without an entourage. Not really a necessity, per se. But definitely a nicety. I wasn’t really excited at the thought of taking everyone to the music store just to pick up a couple piano books for my daughter – all the instruments and equipment and sheet music…too tempting for curious folk. So today I took the opportunity to make the trip solo, and actually had enough time and brain space to browse the music for pieces I’d like to learn.
You may not be surprised then that my sink is full of dishes as I type this up at 10 pm. Or that I have 3 loads of laundry to fold and 2 more to wash and dry. (Seriously, how does that happen??)
So, that’s got me thinking about this whole balance thing. I mean, what is it, really? How do you know when you’re balanced? What does that look like?
Long story short (because like I said it’s 10 pm and I need my sleep before another crazy morning), balance to me is kind of spread out over a longer term. It’s not about what I’m doing in a day; it’s more like what does my week look like. And sometimes even, what does the month look like.
If I look at a big chunk of time and I say, yup, I’m keeping the wheels turning in the housework department so that people are still being fed and clothed and dusted around, that’s awesome. If I say, yup, I’m blogging as much as I’d like to and doing all the other things that go along with building my blog – over this big chunk of time – then that’s fabulous. If I say, yup, I’m getting in some adult conversations with people I enjoy connecting with then, seriously, hallelujah! You get the picture.
So, the last few days have been about self-care and getting chatty again on the blog and social media which means my Friday is all.about.housework. That suits me just fine. I’m actually looking forward to turning on some music and making the kitchen sparkle, and then tackling all the clothes in the basement. Everything gets a chance to be on the frontburner while the other things simmer on the back.
I can see how fueling all these fires is going to take some constant check-ins and possible recalibrations. Like if we completely run out of clean underwear then I need to check what’s on the frontburner and probably switch things up a bit.
What does ‘balanced’ look like to you? I’d love to hear in the comments! Thanks for reading!