A Balanced Approach

Recently we went to a circus (ok, it was actually over a year ago, I was too busy having a baby to make it to the circus this year).  My favorite act is the tight rope walker, because I feel like I can relate!  We’re all so amazed when she makes it from one end to the other without ending up can over cabeza, hurtling towards the ground!  But then she climbs on a little bike and grabs a stack of plates!  That’s me!  Just put a toddler on her back, newborn in her arms, and give her a few baskets of laundry to drag behind and then maybe she’ll have a glimpse of what my life looks like!  Only, sometimes I do loose my balance and end up can over cabeza!  Lord help me that when I fall, I land on my pile of unfolded laundry and not the plastic soldiers…

A friend who’s a newly wed and a new Mom asked me how I do it all? And I had to be honest, I don’t!   I don’t do it all because I can’t possibly do it all. It’s a balancing act!   I’ve been feeling slightly overwhelmed and tired lately (ZzzZzz..snore…huh? Oh, yeah, balance post..) and I’m just barely keeping all my plates in the air.  Since she wasn’t privey to the internal struggle going on in my head, I had to explain…

 

When a Mom first starts learning about the dangers of processed foods

and all the toxins that are attacking her children at every waking

moment,  she usually does one of 2 things…

Everything!

Or

Nothing!

 

I have a very good friend with a house full of awesome kids!  And when she first started to realize all the toxic dangers in pantry and the hazardous chemicals in her bathroom, she threw EVERYTHING out!  The next day she bought a share of an organic grassfed cow, began grinding wheat, making her own butter, soap, and even deodorant!  Not a single processed or packaged item entered her house!  But her husband family revolted.  The change was too drastic, the constant battles and the long hours spend in the kitchen, began to take it’s toll and very quickly she was totally burnt out and ready to quit it all as quickly as she started…

And I have another friend who I love dearly and desire for her to join me in my crusade for healthy whole living!  So I forwarded her article after article about the health benefits of this or the dangerous side effects of that…  And she began to understand what I was seeing!  Soon she began forwarding me articles!  She even asked to borrow some of the books I’ve read about slow food or greener living.  And a few weeks later, brought them all back to me, looking a little haggard… “It’s all too much.” she told me  “It seems like everything is dangerous and is going to give me cancer so why bother at all…”

What both of these women are missing is balance!  It’s too easy to get overwhelmed or to bite off more than you can chew.

I’ve thought a lot about the subject of balance…  I tend more towards the get overwhelmed and give up camp.  But, as the keeper of my home, I know God is calling me to something better for my family.  So I keep my eyes on my goal.

Back to our circus performer… the point I want to make, is that this acrobat keeps her eye on the goal.  You know, ‘Don’t look down!”.  She’s got it all under control because 1) she’s focused and 2) she has just what she needs, nothing more!

What’s your goal?  Where do you want to end up?  Ask yourself what’s most important.  What do you want to spend your time on?  When your kids are grown, what do you want them to remember about the time they spent at home?  What simple changes can make the biggest impact on your health? What kinds of healthy things might have to get put on the back burning for a little while, so you don’t end up can over cabeza?  Ask the questions often and reevaluate your family’s needs/goals.

For me, my goal is to feed my family simply, so that we’ll have plenty of time to get outside and do other things we enjoy.  I don’t want to spend my whole day in the kitchen.  And I value my sleep too much to give that up so I can get up early to prepare my soaked grains or rinse my kefir…  at least at this point in my life.  Those are both things I’d like to do, but my stack of plates is already precariously balanced…

 

I know that, right now, if I try to stack it one plate higher, they’ll all come crashing down around me.  So I take the newest great idea that I just found on my (other) favorite blog, and leave it on the shelf for another day.  I don’t allow myself to get stressed out about the things I can’t do now.

 

 

God blessed me with this family and ultimately, I have to trust Him to provide for us!  So my constant prayer is

Lord, give me the tools I need
to be the best Mother I can be,
and give me the wisdom and humility
to allow you to fill in all the gaps.

Comments

  1. I love this! I wrote something similar last year on my blog; there is more to consider in the average woman’s life than the food she feeds her family. I dont’ have time to make kefir or soak grains, either, even though I recognize the value of such activities. And my husband would certainly revolt, like your friends’ husband, if I completely eliminated every single processed food from the house. Every year, I make more changes and introduce healthy foods while eliminating unhealthy foods from our diet, but I dont’ know that we’ll ever be 100% real/traditional foodies. I’m satisfied with about 85%:)

  2. JanaC2 says:

    GREAT reminder! Since I quit my job in January, I’ve been trying to not only save money but make more from scratch. Sometimes I have to remind myself that #1) my time is still worth a lot, even if I’m not on the clock so if I have to buy snacks in exchange for a half hour of playtime with my kids, it’s worth it! #2) I will NEVER be able to control what my children eat. I will do my best to provide them with healthy choices, but the more I force them to “like” my food choices, the more angry I will be when they reject it… instead, I am learning to start with the meals they like and offer healthier alternatives
    My children know the difference between “anytime” foods and “moderation” foods and that is my goal. I will not be around them forever and as long as they understand the concepts of healthy eating/living, I have done my job.

  3. This is a wonderful post and reminder!! I wish more of my friends and family could see this. So many of them see our life now (grinding wheat, milking goats, making cheese, making everything from scratch…) and instantly start screaming “There’s NO way we could do what you do!! It’s too much!”
    I try to explain to them that we are 2 years into our real food journey, not at the beginning. It’s all about the baby steps. Gotta stay balanced, or you’ll go crazy. :)

  4. Shannon ~ very well said!!! You made some great points, and I agree that the balancing act is the most important and the hardest to achieve!!! Baby steps….. :)

  5. I agree!!! If I am focusing on the future and how I can save it and make it better sometimes I miss out on the awesome here and now going on!! :-)