“You always look so put together and calm.” A friend of mine commented one morning as we were taking our children to preschool. I thought about few minutes earlier and replied “Thank you but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one sweating so much for how overwhelmed I feel.” Maybe to the outside world I may seem always poised, meanwhile inside everything is but that.
I’m still on this year’s personal quest, to reclaim myself, to find a balance between marriage, motherhood, hobby and career. A mission that at times seems impossible: a mountain of laundry to wash and fold, assignments incomplete, a gym that I haven’t seen over months, after school activities that I have to rush the kids to and lack of sleep. Some afternoons all I want to do is crawl back to bed with a book under my nose and daydream about a different world.
I’ve read numerous times that a balanced life is achieved by leading a healthy lifestyle. One thing I recently learnt is that I don’t need to change everything in my life at once. Taking small steps over time is the only way to get to my balanced being. These are few things I’m doing to rebalance my life:
One afternoon, as my little boy was having a nap, my girl was at a friend’s house for a playdate and our little bunny was in the garden munching grass, I felt the urge to crawl back into bed and read my many old magazines I haven’t read yet. I did just that but then realized that I haven’t done any workout in a long time so I got out of bed. I played my favorite workout video and worked out for ten minutes. By changing my mindset, I concluded that even if I don’t have a long one hour in my busy schedule I can carve out ten minutes to do a physical activity that will make my interior feel as my outside portrays. Because 10 minutes workout on a daily basis is better than nothing in a week.
Our modern world seems impossible to stay away from technology and social media. I’m one of those people who couldn’t stay a day without updating her life because after all I started blogging to distress. Then I added all the other platforms on top and I began to I feel overwhelmed. Lately I try my best to tune out from social media as much as possible, especially over the weekend. I don’t blog too much as before because that’s a hobby that I enjoy doing and I didn’t like the sensation that it was a chore.
In October we bought a house, a small house compared to the house we rented before. This fact has a positive and a negative side to it. We don’t have enough space for all the things we’ve accumulated over the years. However, this fact is helping us streamline. I’ve been purging my old clothes and my children’s since January and I’m still going strong. Few essential things used with love is better than items I haven’t seen or worn in years.
4. LET IT BE
I’m learning to let go because sometimes I can’t do it all. I’m not a super woman that’s for sure. I would like my house to look impeccably clean, have wonderful meals and play with the kids pretending to be on the moon non stop but one thing got to give. If I clean too much the kids can’t have fun, if I spend too much time cooking the kids will not see me enough. So, I ask for help. We don’t have our family living near us so a lady comes to help with the cleaning and a girl looks after the kids while I’m taking a moment to write or simply just organize my thought. My husband helps with cooking so we alternate days, in this way I can play with the kids when he’s preparing supper and he can to the same on the nights that I’m making dinner.
5. SURRENDER TO NATURE
I love camping, it takes me to Mother Nature as no-other medium is able to do. No computers, no cognition of time, just listening to your body and what nature tells you. Submitting to nature put things into perspective for me. Imagine a stormy night inside your tent which is not more than a waterproof material. During that moment you’re just a little being in the hands of the Almighty. When you don’t have nothing but your loved ones in that narrow space life surely rebalances itself. Soft steps of a deer by the tent at dawn, gently feet of a naughty bunny who escaped its pen. Sleeping like logs on a simple inflatable mattress, tight cuddles as the birds chirp to the sunrise among the chit chat of the leaves. My son’s smile as he hugs me like a bear, my daughter’s tenderness as she stretches closer to me like a pea in a pod, and my husband peacefully snoring his cares away – life rebalanced for me.
Journalist: Theodora Ofusuhima