Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finding Balance in 2014


Finding Balance n 2014 // Bubby and Bean
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. -Thomas Merton


My key word for 2014, at least so far, is balance. 

Admittedly, it was last year's key word too.  In 2013, I finally forced myself to learn how to find a healthy balance between work and enjoying life.  For the first time in the many, many years since I became a small business owner, I took weekends off.  And what a difference it made. I can't believe it took me so long to allow myself to do this and feel okay about it.  Ironically, my businesses did better than they had in years.

And here I am now, attempting to allow for a new kind of balance this year.  Three days before the start of 2014, Essley was born, and everything about my world changed in an instant.  I've never been a morning person until now, when I know I get to look over and see my baby girl's face, so sweet and sleepy.  Suddenly three hours of broken sleep feels worth it, and all I want to do is smother her with love and be her mommy.  But after a diaper change and feeding and some cuddle time, my work day begins.  When Robbie is home, I'm almost able to fit in a regular work day (albeit one that ends much later than in the past).  When he is on the road, which is more often than not this time of year, my work day is much different.  It's divided into unpredictable chunks and I very rarely finish my daily 'to do' list.  When baby is sleeping and hanging out in her swing or bouncy chair, I'm working - but I feel a little guilty for not giving her my undivided attention, which she deserves.  When baby is crying or eating or wide awake and alert, I am with her - but I feel a little guilty for not giving enough of myself to my jobs, which we rely on to pay bills.  Sometimes, if I'm feeling extra coordinated (physically and mentally), I can do both at the same time - but I feel a little guilty for multitasking, which I've come to learn usually works against you in the end.  

I mentioned in a recent post that I've felt helplessly overwhelmed at times over this past month, but over the past week, I've begun to feel the slightest shift.  I'm starting to adjust - even if just a tiny bit.  Things haven't slowed down either.  It's actually a pretty crazy time for me work wise, between taxes and Valentine orders and the sudden news that my clothing line's website needs to be completely redesigned from scratch by mid-month in order to be compatible with my shopping cart provider's newest upgrade (anyone proficient in Miva Merchant 5.x want to do some last-minute work for a clothing or blog ad trade?).  And blah blah blah (we're all busy at work, right?).  Obviously it is also a crazy time for me away from work too (I have a newborn baby, duh!).  But I keep repeating the word 'balance' in my head, and reminding myself how much better everything became last year when I finally allowed for balance between work and play without feeling guilty.  And so it begins again, as I slowly start to surrender to allowing for a similar balance, this time with the role of mom to a tiny little human incorporated into the mix. 

It's funny how focusing on one powerful word can be all the motivation you need to find your way, or create positive change, or even simply to adjust to a new experience.  Balance, you're that word for me, for the second year in a row.  I know you won't let me down.

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15 comments:

  1. You are a beautiful person and i'm sure you're going to find the balance that you need.

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  2. It's hard to balance life for any small business owner, but when you add a baby... That's one thing I'm really nervous about. I've been better about allowing myself to have days off without being a total spaz about it, but I'm curious to see how much my priorities will shift when I have a kid.

    I'm glad you hear you've started to adjust. This is the hardest part. You're almost done.

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  3. Your shop is awesome. Essley is gorgeous. Things will fall into place, although it may take 3 yrs and you may find yourself pregnant again, (oh wait, just me?) it will all calm down. Best wishes! :)

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  4. balance can be so hard to achieve and you have a lot happening, but it sounds like you're on the right track. balance is something i need to work on too.

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  5. Running a business + taking care of a newborn...I can just imagine how crazy busy it must be for you. I'm in awe of how you do it all. I think over time you will set the pace and learn how to balance your family with work. I haven't quite figured out how to balance work/life either...

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  6. Sending my thoughts to you in hopes that balance finds you this year like it did last :)
    One of my biggest fears of having a child is giving them the attention they deserve. I'm glad to hear you're finding a mix that's working and I hope it only continues to get better :)

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  7. I don't know how you do it all! I hope you're able to find balance again this year with everything on your plate. I bet you do. =)

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  8. It's so crazy, lately whenever I read your blog posts I feel like I could have written them, I identify so strongly with what you have written. In fact, my word for the year is also balance, particularly balancing my life as a small business owner and as a stay-at-home mom, and that guilt that comes whenever I'm spending time on one over the other. Good luck to you with finding balance this year!

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  9. You are doing so great Mel! Superwoman! You're an inspiration and I can't wait to meet Essley this spring.

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  10. I love this post. I am also looking for balance this year. Sometimes we need a new year to kick us in the ass and remind us to be at peace. I hope you find that this year and I'm sure being a Mommy is a huge change, but I bet it's the best kind of change anybody could want . Love you sis!

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  11. I know you are giving everything you can to each task, and that is all you can do. As the mom of a now nearly 10 year old that has been with me the whole time I have had a business they DO adjust to the routine. I'm sure Tru will have her gripes someday but I try to make sure we have a schedule where she has chunkos of time where she knows my attention is hers. She is much more independent and self soothing than many kids and I think it's an asset overall. My world is still built around her, and the cool thing is that as a work-at-hom-mom you can be there for her every time she whimpers and does need you. With a regular job there'd be daycare. So the fact that you work while she sleeps, or even work while you hold her is still nicer than the alternative. It's the same thing Native American, and Pioneer, and Indigenous women the world over do today - work with children in tow. There didn't used to be a SAHM culture (even the very rich gave their babies to wet nurses and governesses) - women always worked in the fields to grow food, cooking, washing, etc and housework was a full time job. It's only in today's weird culture that we think it is normal to be able to hold a baby every second or play with a toddler all day. The past was nothing like that. So you're just doing what ages of women have done and still do - put that baby in a sling and keep on going. ;)

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  12. Thank you all so much for your comments! xo, m

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  13. Balance is something that I'm constantly craving and going after as well. It's really hard to attain when things are constantly changing, but it's like you mentioned...Sometimes even the slightest little shift can make a big change. Adjusting to new things and changes takes time, and when you finally get in the groove - it feels great!

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  14. I think it's great that you are finding balance. It will be a work in progress with some days better than others, as is the case with everything in life. I say outsource the web design stuff and anything else you can to give yourself some peace of mind. It will be fine. xoxo

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