I am a big believer in learning how the body works. Staying in health balance – mentally and physically – is a focus for me every day. I think it is vital for every person on the planet to stay in balance mind, body and soul.
Science is clear: women are wired in certain ways. There are differences between each of us. Ultimately, women carry babies and men do not. That means we have different hormones, cycles and emotional swings.
Point blank truth: Men and women are different.
I also know that we can train our bodies to deny their natural tendencies. We can be in an imbalance internally and still think we have a balance in life.
There is a major pressure these days to believe that feeling happy all the time is a goal. Also, that living in a home that is set up perfectly all the time is life balance.
Both are false.
If we women have hormone shifts that can cause us to feel sad without our physical ability to stop it, then it is natural to feel sad sometimes. Feeling happy all the time is the unnatural state. This is so important for moms to realize.
I shared in this post that one of the main – if not the main – lessons that my mom taught me was that perfection was not a reasonable end-goal. She was effective. Perfection was too petty a goal.
Spending a lot of time with her children each day was a path to life balance. It did not eliminate the tough moments. It allowed for a realistic, wholistic approach to motherhood to take place. Not a situational one.
She was present enough with us throughout our growing years that she did not let her family get off the rails.
We were her full time job. My mom worked nights as a nurse – part time. I shared the lessons that life balance taught me. She was home to be mom all day, every day. It was a lot on her plate. She balanced it in real, true, raw ways. But, she was a good and effective mother.
She was focused on being effective, not perfect.
That mindset eliminates guilt before it even starts.
How I have grown into my own version of the best mom I can be, is by building on what my mom taught me.
I really truly believe that we give so much love, self-confidence and mental health to our children with our presence.
Our undivided presence.
It teaches our children that they are worthy of our time. It teaches them that family must be a focus point. It provides them a home team as their full time support system.
This is how I still feel today about my family. No matter when we disagree, we still see each others’ strengths and celebrate them. We still relate to each other’s’ challenges and encourage each other.
Taking all that I learned growing up, I made it a mission of mine to do what I needed to do to focus first on my family. That is all I really leave to the world.
If we provide the world with children who are unable to contribute in a positive way, we leave others to pay for and/or fix our errors. I want my children to be competent, morally-focused and successful in their own ways. This means they are my job until they are responsible for themselves.
What I have done to maximize my time with my children at home:
1.Make our time together quality time.
2.Assess and keep life in balance.
3.Fill my cup with truth about the mother-child relationship.
Make our time at home quality time
Before having children, I was a teacher. Creating learning activities is a strength and passion for me. I added that to my blog from the start.
Simple, inexpensive learning activities allowed me to teach my child to prepare them for school. It also provided us focused, structured time together.
It was always quality.
My children felt that they were special for being able to work through a special activity I made for them. I felt special because I was creating quality in my home.
The activities are so simple they are not complicated to create. It made me focus on being a “professional mom” taking my role seriously and making the most of my time with my children.
>>>Read more about setting goals as a mom here.<<<
One of the earliest activities I set up for my kids was this color sorting activity with stickers. We played with cotton balls when the kiddos were little. You would not believe that a simple activity like the fine motor cotton ball activity would keep their attention, but it did!
I also really love the simplicity of this name spelling game. Children light up when they read the letters of their name. All of these can be taught to toddlers or preschoolers.
Keep Life in Balance
One of my favorite statements about life balance is one that I shared in this post.
“Balance is not a place you go and never have to leave. It is a constantly changing process.”Jaimi Erickson
I am a lover of checklists. Simple checklists like this one I created for moms at home to feel more successful each day.
With that list, I have my priorities in my day. The things that I know will help me feel accomplished at the end of the day.
As a mom this can be hard because life is always going on in our homes. There is not time when no one is living here.
If the house looks like I neglected it all day, it steals my peace. But, some rooms in my home will look less than perfect many days because kids live here. It is ok if your home looks like kids live there. YOU have KIDS!
Specific cleaning plans like this one help. More than that, it is a mental growth process.
Truth about the Mother-Child Relationship
It is vital for moms to know the science behind the connection that moms and kids have. A book that details this in all stages of womanhood is The Female Brain.
Eye opening research and science that backs up why so many women experience post-partum depression. The real “cures” to it and why we really do need a lot of quanitity and quality time with our children to maintain positive mental health.
I shared about the book in a 3 part series. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. It is so interesting. I love that science backs up our motherhood role as a full time job that benefits our children and our own internal balance.
The Focus Points for Positive Mother-Child Relationships
We all crave quality time with our children. This resource of over 55 ideas for spending time with our children in simple and impactful ways is so helpful.
Relying on screentime to teach our children is doing more harm than good. Hands-on learning time together is shown to encourage the parent-child bond and develop a child’s self esteem and mental health in big ways.
What we learn from the truth behind the science of motherhood is that those small moments of connection between us and our children support our mental health in big ways too. We all need recharge time. In some seasons of motherhood a hobby or regular quiet time can help. If you are in a season of motherhood without those consistent times to recharge, get it when you can. It is part of that balance.