I remember wondering, before my children were of homeschooling age, how in the world homeschooling moms managed to balance it all. I thought that surely, without question, they must be a special batch of women.
No regular mother could balance teaching her children, cooking and cleaning, investing in the heart’s of her children, staying connected to her husband, and more without having a breakdown.
I remember asking some of them the inevitable question.
How do you balance it all?
Now I’m the one occasionally being asked that question, and I realize that there isn’t a simple answer. But if I had to give one, the short answer would be “I don’t.”
There Is No Easy Answer When It Comes to Balance
The trouble with finding balance when we are working to meet a host of responsibilities is that there is no easy answer. No formula, no plan, and no seven-step program has the key to managing life as a busy mom.
I am constantly reevaluating how and where I spend my time and energies. If I agree to do a program in the evening with one or more of my children, I have to turn down the opportunity to stay home and work on my blog, my home business, or a homemaking task.
No doubt, if you have more than one child, you probably have to do the same.
But you know what I found?
When I finally realized that there isn’t an easy answer, and that most homeschool moms, and most moms in general, are constantly trying to figure out how to balance it all, I didn’t feel so pressured to keep that perfect balance.
There is no perfect balance. It’s instead a perpetual effort to say yes to the right thing and the right time, and say not now to the others.
Keeping Balance in Our Home
Now that I just told you that there is no perfect balance, I’ll go ahead and share with you how I attempt to keep all of these proverbial plates spinning on their sticks in our home.
- Chores for the children– My children have taken on major jobs like sorting and folding all of the laundry, putting clean dishes away, helping in the garden, and vacuuming much of the house.
- Homeschooling checklists- This has been a lifesaver for me this year! My oldest two children have weekly checklists that I made and print for them. They cover their schoolwork and responsibilities for the week and help them see what needs done, allowing them to work more independently and freeing me to work with the younger three.
- Basic meal plans- I am not the most consistent meal planner, but my life is so much easier when I am! My goal is to plan our breakfast and supper for a week or two at a time, including advance prep work that needs done.
- Basic cleaning schedule- I have one major cleaning job in mind for every day of the school week. This was easier to keep up with when we only had three children, but I still try to get the most important tasks done.
- Open communication with my husband- I absolutely could not manage without my husband! This man is very sympathetic to all that I have to accomplish and does his best to give me a few quiet hours every Saturday. When I’m feeling swamped, I just need to talk with him, and he tries to find a helpful solution.
The Biggest Piece in the Balance Puzzle
Even with the above listed steps I’ve taken to try to keep the balance in my life, there are still times when I start to feel that overwhelming pressure of I can’t keep up.
It’s then that I have to take a step back and prayerfully ask myself one key question.
What is God asking of me right now and at this stage of my life?
I might not always immediately know the answer. Just like any of you, sometimes I have to wait, and wait, and question, and wait. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
Sometimes I realize that I’m expecting too much out of myself or my family, or that I’m saying yes to something that should have been a not now, or perhaps I got caught in the trap of comparison instead of focusing on gratitude.
God has always been faithful to bring me back into a state of balance, or at least something close to it, when I’ve sincerely sought Him for help.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my ebook Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker: A Devotional Guide for Your Homemaking Journey. It’s filled with Scriptural printables, insight, and encouragement.
How do you keep balance in your busy life as a mom? Do you struggle with feeling like you can’t keep up?
This post is part of the 31-Day series, An Extended Stay, where I invite you into my heart and into my home through the whole month of October.
You can read more 31-Day series by other bloggers in the Family section of the challenge’s website linked up here.