My dearest Mia is becoming more and more inquisitive and excited about exploring the unknown. She is all over the place and keeping her entertained seems like a full-time job. I find it difficult to juggle my own work responsibilities while making sure I spend quality time with Mia. As parents, we want to give our children the utmost best in every aspect of their lives. That is noble thinking, but I do believe that parents get discouraged because they can’t devote themselves completely to their children – they are not supposed to feel this way. This month was one of finding my own balance and I hope by sharing my journey, it will serve as encouragement to find yours as well.
There are 24 hours in a day, and all 24 can’t be directed towards my children and their needs. I decided to reframe and rethink what is important to me and I wrote the following statement. I want to put God first, set aside time for myself and spend quality time with my loved ones. I want to work hard but also make time for leisure. This was my ideal, but as I looked at it I wondered how 24 hours could possibly be enough to accomplish it all. I have a dear friend who always says, “You can do everything you want and accomplish much, but not all at the same time”. I was pondering these wise words and realised that I don’t have to squeeze everything into one day; with good weekly planning I can get to everything.
Having a baby in the house can derail your weekly planning in an instant. Sometimes life just happens, but if you have a clear vision of what is important to you, you will stay on track and keep your balance. Mia wants my undivided attention all the time and I can’t always give it to her. That is OK. I make special time for Mia every day and within that space I give her my full, undivided attention. No cellphone, no emails, no television, no cooking or doing the laundry. Just the two of us. When Janno gets home from school, it is his turn to get my undivided attention as we do homework and catch up on the day’s events. During this time, Mia needs to play on her own while I keep a mindful eye on her. Babies at her age are very self-centred and they will demand your attention, even if they have to resort to a tantrum. Whether Mia likes it or not, she cannot have my full 24 hours.
Some parents have full-time jobs and must make the best of the hour or two they have with their babies before bedtime. That is also OK, as long as you give your family quality, undivided attention every day.
I have found my balance in making effective use of my time. I make sure that I give each family member quality time, that includes my husband and myself. Time with God is what recharges me and gives me strength to be the best I can possibly be in all the roles I have to fulfil each day. I love painting and that is my leisure activity that I make time for each week, even if it is just an hour. Weekends equal family time and I make sure that everyone gets plenty of rest.
MommaMia Tip: Everybody is given the same amount of hours per day. Write down what you would like to do with your time and make the decision to adapt and form new habits. Remember that good parents are also kind to themselves. Being a parent is hard work; therefore, be intentional to recharge yourself in order to give the most to your family in the time you have. Make the utmost best of your 24 hours every day.