Why I’m Not Striving for Balance This Summer

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Wondering how to get it all together this summer? Life as MOM contributor Prerna, offers a much-needed reality check.

girl on the beach

Dictionary.com defines ‘balance’ as:

Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall

While being balanced is something I pride myself on and lay great emphasis on, during the lazy, heat-filled, summer days, balance is the last thing I’m thinking of. You see, balancing means remaining ‘steady’ and ‘not falling’, and that, my dear mama friends, is SO not what an already busy, overwhelmed mama wants to add to her plate.

I want to fall.

I want to falter.

I want to stumble.

Being balanced is the last thing I want to do when my daughter wants to play pretend kitchen with her while I strive to meet deadlines.

Being balanced is the last thing I want to think of when my husband and I want to unwind with Iron Man 3 on DVD while the kitchen sink overflows with dishes.

Being balanced is the last thing I want to have when all I need is a cuppa tea or an afternoon nap while everything else can wait.

You see, “being balanced” puts a lot of undue stress on already stressed out folks, like you and me.

kids sand pit

Being balanced means constantly having to stay steady and on track. And that isn’t real.

What’s real is being able to enjoy the gift.

What’s real is being able to blend our different roles together so that we find the calm we need as mamas.

What’s real is knowing and accepting you can’t do it all but you can still have it all. Yes, I can have the most fun making finger paint with my daughter while I hire help to clean the house.

What’s real is valuing what’s important, regardless of the season or what society says. For me, that’s my family and my relationship with my husband. So, I’m okay with being ‘un-balanced’ and focus more on them and less on other things, including work.

So, this summer, I’m going to let go of being balanced, and instead, fall into a season of flexibility and fun.

I’ll falter when it comes to finishing the laundry as I dig into my resources to create summer activity calendars for our family.

I’ll stumble along slowly on finishing a long overdue closet overhaul while spending lazy afternoons reading to Manini, instead.

Yes, I’m not striving for balanced this summer and that feels beautiful!

What does YOUR summer look like?

As ‘un-balanced’ as mine? Share with me in the comments.

– Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Check out her free eBooks on organizing and productivity to get literally, hundreds of ideas on how to get organized on a shoestring budget, right now.

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  1. Thank you! I strive for balance and often fall short. Don’t we all? Moms put way too much pressure on themselves to do everything ‘just right’. Thanks for the reminder that if I’m going to fall down on the job (and I will) that it is better to err on the side of people than dishes, laundry or running errands. I have all my summer lists printed out and ready to use, but I think I’m going to let them side idle for one more week, and just enjoy the moments with my boys. Again, thank you!
    Blessings, Kristy

    1. Hi Kristy! You’re right about us mamas placing too much undue pressure on our own selves and yours truly has been guilty of it more often than not.. That is why, this summer is a conscious decision to just flow, fall and falter:-) Yes, make the lists but don’t let them rule your idea of fun.. That’s the spirit! LOVE it:-)

  2. Love it. Thank you, Prerna! I am feeling out of balance for a lot of reasons this spring and it is nice to have ‘permission’ to enjoy the summer without the need to meticulous scheduling!

  3. Truth. Thank you for the realistic approach to summer. I get semi-annoyed with bloggers who feel like they need to showcase their amazingly awesomely planned summer. I think their intentions are great but it kind of makes readers either feel defeated before they’ve even begun or other buy into it and ultimately realize that no they can’t have a perfect summer. 🙂

  4. Oh, I totally agree. It took me years to figure this out! I wish now that I had spent even more time playing with my little ones, especially now when they’re all teenagers and my baby, well, he’s about an inch from being taller than me and I’m 5’9″. Where did the time go??? Of course, I try to go easy on myself, because I played with them lots and lots despite the fact that I worried about laundry and dishes, too. But I miss how little they were and they grow up so quickly. My oldest is an adult and in college! When did that happen? Am I that old? I still look at her and see that little girl that went on the bus for the first time on the second day of kindergarten. Enjoy it while you can, because there’s plenty of time to clean when they move out, which will happen before you know it.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Denise.. Your thoughts have given me more resolve to just go with the flow and do more with my 5-year old now before she turns 15 and doesn’t have that much time for me! Am going to memorize your words,”Enjoy it while you can, because there’s plenty of time to clean when they move out, which will happen before you know it.” Thank YOU!

  5. Spot on Prerna! Like you, I am happiest when I am feeling a sense of balance across the different areas of my life. But you’ve reminded me that the long summer holiday requires some expectation adjustment. School breaks up next week and my mantra is going to be “Go with the flow!” 🙂

  6. I tossed out the idea of balance quite a long time ago and do not regret it. It create stress and expectations t hat were just ruining my day to day experience. Harmony. Harmony is the word and idea for me. Pursing a life of harmony means it is perfectly fine to let the house go for a week during those first perfect summer days. It is also fine the day I decide it is time to clean up. There is no balance to be had in life because it is ever changing. The idea of balance focuses on the future rather than the here and now. (If can just x, then life will be better). I just don’t want to live like that.

  7. Great reminder! I am blessed to have a husband who is quite spontaneous, which has helped me loosen up a lot. Seizing the day and the moment is something I think all moms need to be reminded to do. It is so easy to become bogged down in the mundane, everyday tasks that we don’t enjoy the moment. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thank you Lora! SO glad to hear that you’ve got someone to cheer you on as you hang loose and just chill during the hot, hazy days! And yes, I, too, need an everyday reminder to seize the day and be more easygoing:-) Have a great weekend, mama!