I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find it increasingly difficult to find the right balance between all the demands on my time. I feel like I never stop somedays and sometimes I think “I just want to drop everything and have a day off”. Well, not everything… but there are more demands on my time than needs be, and it’s finding the balance between keeping things going because there is a need or real desire to do it and doing something because it has just become habit.
So a lot of the time I find myself prioritising. Some things always end up at the bottom of the pile. And often that bugs me. Sometimes they are things that I really care about, but they just cannot be a priority. Other things that always get done, are a must (like laundry) but seem neverending and always take priority over things I wish I had time to do.
But that is as it should be. I know it is. I have a young family and I knew what I was signing up for (well, mostly). Yet that balance still seems to elude me.
My priorities at present are 1) TJ and Little Man (and all that comes with them, such as feeding and clothing them!) and 2) work, because after all that provides a much needed boost to our income. Everything else kind of falls into the “whenever there’s time” category, which isn’t very often.
And I’m okay with that, truly I am. It’s just there seems to be so many things in that category and my frustration comes from the lack of priority within it, or any sense of balance. Those moments of “oooh I have a little bit of time” are filled with the question of “what do I want to do the most?” I have a whole list of things that need doing (such as the book on Hyperemesis), things that I want to get done (such as campaigning for Pregnancy Sickness Support), things I have agreed to do (such as the craft blog on iVillageUK) and then finally things that I want to do, such as relaxing in a long hot bath, reading a book, or finishing that crochet blanket I started months ago!
It seems that, no matter how many things I cut out of my life (and I have cut out a lot of things this past year), I just never gain enough time back. To be fair, priorities 1 and 2 (family and work) take up most of my time and the rest just nags away in the back of my mind most of the time, but nag it does.
We’re making some more changes in our life this month. TJ starts a new job with regular hours. I am switching from 4 afternoons working out of the house to 1 full day and 2 afternoons, to try and make things easier with childcare. This has the added bonus of giving me more time at home with Little Man (because the days I work are taken up with making sure he has slept at the right time in the morning, is fed at the right time, is taken to the childminder on time, and I catch my bus on time! We are quite literally ruled by the clock the days I work). We’re also getting rid of our cable subscription (although it appears we have a working aerial so we won’t be totally unable to watch tv if it gets too much!)
All these changes are made in hope of finding more balance, for each one of us and as a family. But I have no idea if it will work. It is all trial and error, and I do believe that for some years yet this is going to be a losing battle for me!
Tell me, how do you find balance?