The other day I got into a little discussion with two moms with young kids who own their own small business. Between, work, kids, family issues they were "empty and done". My advice to them was "I recommend some boundaries and balance or you guys are going to blow up. Trust someone who knows it all to well and I had to re-evaluate to find out what is REALLY important. We are only young once (as our kids are). Remember that because if you don't take care for you first there is nothing left.".
That got me thinking about what is really important. It got me thinking about a few years ago in my life and I felt the same way but I was so busy I did not even have time to admit that. The three B's…..Balance, Boundaries or you will Blow Up! It has taken me a very long time to find what is REALLY important in MY life….not what everyone else thinks is important. And that is different for everyone. I used to be that super mom: Room Mom, Team Mom, PTA Mom, etc….you name it I was there doing it. There is one thing clear in my life being Mom is the most important job in my life. I take that responsibility that was bestowed upon me very seriously. However, if I give it all away there is nothing left……….who really suffers?
Now don't get me wrong (and before anyone blows smoke up my rear) as my hat is off to every woman who can do it all and volunteers. There is nothing more gratifying but I had to ask myself one day if my kids really did care if the PTA books were balanced. In fact, I did ask the kids what was important to them and what they would remember about their mom. I was suprirsed by the answer…..it was my presence.
So next to being mom I own my run my own business which in itself has a ton of responsiblities. I am lucky in that my business is in an industry I love so dearly and am passionate about but I throw that in the mix and defining that home/work balance is important. There have been days the kids look at me and will say "Stop working". Luckily that is not very often.
Volunteering…….yep, I still do it. But I do it on my terms. I am not open 24/7 for everything and now sit on that "helium arm" of mine. No more Super Mom but when those school activities come up I am the first to volunteer to make 75 treat bags. Why? because the twins ask me to……I love to do them. They are artistic for me and they fulfill me in the process while I know I am giving the kids a memory.
and I will be in costume at their Halloween parade at school (in costume!) because that is time I get with them. We only get one go-round and they do grow up so quick. Trust me, my 14 yr old does not want his mom at school in her costume! (tempting as it is).
Time with Friends…..Yep, I make it. A toast at the local watering hole, a dinner out, a hike, time at the beach. My friends fill my spirit right back up (with and without the spirits).
Me Time……..probably my most important key to fulfilling me. I love grabbing my camera, seeing the sights of my great city, writing in my journal, doodling, eating in Little Italy, sinking my toes in the sand, browsing a good art store, and of course time in my studio where I unload my creative energies. I make that time as I return from it happy and ready to give out more.
I have found the most powerful word in my vocabulary is "No". What I choose to do now I want to do well. Instead of spreading msyelf thin over 2500 things I like doing two things great. That is what is important to ME. It took me 41 years to learn the Three B's and I am still a work in progress.
I look upon my young friends with young kids and all I want to do is put my arms around them and hope they learn it at 30 vs 40. Life is so great you really don't want to look back realize you lost sight of what is truly important to YOU!
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony." ~Thomas Merton