Monday, April 14, 2014

The Balancing Act

If you have met me or read this blog, you can probably tell that I often struggle with perfection. I want to do everything right, do everything well, and to just do, well, everything. I want to have family time every night. I want to cook healthy, homemade meals every night. I want to keep my house in order. I want to save the right amount of money for retirement. I want to wear the right clothes with the right shoes. I want to spend the right amount of hours sleeping. I want to read the right books. I want to rock my baby to sleep each night without thinking of all the other things I "need" to be doing. I want to be as efficient as possible with every single thing I do. It just goes on and on...

And while there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be able to do all of those things, the reality of my current phase of life makes some of those things nearly impossible. And even if they aren't impossible, I'm learning I can only have one #1 priority.
I read this post about balancing responsiblities while being a mother to young children and it really did a number on my heart. In it, there is a picture that says "The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are: Daily Scripture Study, and prayer, and weekly Family Home Evening." (The Family Home Evening is a Mormon thing, but you understand what it means.)

I was reminded of what my priorities as a parent really are - and they have very little to actually do with my family. They have to do with being first and foremost a disciple of Christ. If I don't meet with God daily and commune with Him, I'm missing the boat altogether. I may be standing on the dock with my suitcases and passport in hand, but I'm not ready to set sail.

With that said, I'm learning daily not only how to prioritize but also what to prioritize. How important is it that my entertainment center is dust-free? Does it really matter that our Tuesday night dinner doesn't have a single green vegetable in it? Is there eternal significance in whether or not I totally loved my outfit for the day? 

The truth of the matter is that, no, these things don't really matter. I do believe that I'm responsible for my family and home, so those things will always be a priority to me and I will always strive for the best when it comes to those two things. But am I putting them above my relationship with Christ or even my relationship with my husband? Sometimes, yes.

So today is a new day and I'm working hard to realign my responsiblities to appropriately reflect the things that are most important to me.

1. Discipleship and servanthood to God, His Kingdom, and the Church
2. My relationship with my husband
3. My child
4. Taking care of myself (time alone, rest, hobbies, etc.)
5. My family and friends (building relationships)
6. Taking care of my home (cleanliness, order, meals, bills, etc.)
7. Documenting life (journals, photo books, this blog, etc.)
8. My career and continuing education

That's it. Those are my main priorities. They have to do a little shifting from time to time, but the big picture is that they fall in line with what matters most to me in this life. I think over the next eight weeks, I'll focus on each area and discuss how I'm balancing the list as a whole.

What are your priorities as a mom, wife, or woman? How do you maintain your relationships, career, home, hobbies? I want to hear from you!

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