Stretched. It’s an easy, familiar word. It’s a word that echoes round and round in my head. It’s how I feel a lot of the time. It’s not even something I notice most days but it’s there in the background and on the hard days it jumps out at me and makes itself hard to ignore.
My time, like so many of yours, is stretched between full time work, raising a daughter, my relationship with my partner, maintaining friendships, trying to exercise or do something for myself and everything else that makes demands on it.
It’s more than just feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
It’s like my mind is stretched trying to find room for all the things I have to constantly think about. It’s pretty exhausting!
Choice. That’s the word that supposedly leads to balance. Choosing to do less, worry less, sleep more. Choosing to make time for yourself. Except as a Mum it often feels like you don’t have a choice. I don’t even mean that in a bad way, more that it isn’t a case of choosing because in all decisions your babies come first.
Balance. That’s the magic word.
That word is my Holy Grail. It’s the opposite of how you feel when you’re stretched but it’s really hard to find it. If I’m honest I’ve never been very good at balance. I’m not good at resting until I get to the point where I’m forced to because I’m ill. I know that’s a character flaw and I need to work on it! But even if that did happen, balance still feels like a very hard to reach goal.
Reaching a balance involves compromise and that often isn’t possible without feeling like you’re sacrificing something. And it’s often the things that you want to do that get squeezed out by all the things you have to do. And that brings us back to our old friend choice. Choosing what really is important and prioritising it. Easier said than done though, right?
Maybe it will get easier to achieve a better balance as our family gets older. More likely it’s not something that I will ever be good at. What I do know is that I need to keep working towards it because feeling stretched all the time is just not all that fun!
You can read more from Sarah on her blog, Raising Skye.