Remember the days
before kids? When you were constantly
on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans and the most flattering little black
dress? But now you are constantly on the
hunt for something far more elusive: balance.
It is the trendiest
word in motherhood since the beginning of time. You've read countless articles telling you the steps to striking the
perfect work/home balance: Be organized, keep a calendar, plan ahead, et
cetera. You know all of this. Yet, there are still days when you feel like
everything is spinning out of your control and you don't know how to stop
it. Believe me, I've been there. I've been there on days when
I have to be fresh and camera-ready. When my hair will not cooperate, my phone will not stop ringing and I
have to be across town for a school function in 20 minutes. It is always on those days somebody asks me,
"How do you balance it all? What are your secrets?"
For so long I did not
know how to answer that question. I
would respond, "Ask me where to find the perfect pair of jeans or the most
flattering black dress. I can give you
store names, brands, websites..."
It took me several
years of motherhood to realize that the trick to balancing it all is really to
not worry about it so much. It's like
walking over a sewer grate in midtown Manhattan in 5-inch heels in a
snowstorm. The same rules apply:
1. Relax. Forgive yourself for
not being "perfect." There
will always be those mothers at the playground who will make you doubt
yourself. They seem to have everything
in order. Believe me, they don't. Perfection is a myth. And it's boring.
2. Take someone's hand
if they offer it. Let others help you. Yes, I know. You think it's easier to do it yourself and nobody is going to do it as
well as you do it. That may be true
sometimes, but it is not true all of the time. Give in. Nobody likes a martyr.
3. Don't worry about
keeping up with everyone else. Just because you find
out that everyone else is signing their kids up for violin and Mandarin lessons
doesn't meant you have to as well. Do
what is right for you and your child. The sooner you teach your children that it is unfashionable to follow
the crowd, the better.
4. Put one foot in
front of the other and you'll be fine. However, if you do happen
to slip up (it happens), don't make a big deal about it. Just brush yourself off, smile and keep