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Me time

What balance?

manuelita otero

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How often have you found yourself searching for balance in life like a sought-after award? Like it’s something that could change your life forever? I am amazed how sometimes we are so obsessed with finding the perfect balance, which in a way leads us to live very unbalanced lives. We seem so concerned with this unreachable balance that is sold to us, and we start stressing more than necessary.

Of course having a balanced life can be healthy: “keep harmony between work and rest, balance between your free time and your studies, eat a balanced diet, invest your money in a balanced way…” and on and on.    It is necessary to avoid extremes that can be negative for us, but it is also good to understand that listening about this “balanced life” over and over can be overwhelming because it is something unattainable, based on a perfect life, which we know doesn’t exist, at least not in this life. And that’s when the exact opposite happens: wanting so much balance in everything and with everyone we end up losing the little balance we had, we forget that each victory is a process. We are humans and we make mistakes. We forget that we are unique with different stories and that is the reason why balance has to look different for each of us. We also forget that balance may come at different times in different areas so to expect to be always in the middle in perfect equilibrium is unrealistic to say the least.  

That is what I am going through at this moment with the education of my little one, when it finally hit me. I have been running like crazy searching for balance for more than 5 years. Even before my daughter was born I would read, listen, and think that I would be that smart mom who did everything right. I would put limits to my baby, but I would also be flexible and loving, I would give her a lot of the things she wanted, but at the same time I would teach her that in life you have to hear “no” once in awhile. I would spoil her, but in a good way. I was going to be the “perfect mom” and I was going to achieve that coveted balance and my child was going to be very happy.

The search for balance in my motherhood became such an obsession that I think I spent more hours trying to reach balance than actually enjoying my time with my daughter in a more relaxed way. The desire to give my daughter a perfect education (because whether we accept it or not we want to give our children the perfect education) distracted me from what really fills my heart with joy: seeing my beautiful daughter smile, feeling connected to her and being with her without so much correction and discipline. Little by little without even realizing it I decided that during this season of our lives the balance that I am searching for is going to look more like flexibility than a strict, disciplined regime. It is going to include a lot of loving and fun moments, even a little spoiling because that is exactly what we need.  

It wasn’t easy to decide, and it was especially challenging to say it out loud, but it is what it is and it couldn’t be better. I am all about being our best selves but instead of spending hours searching and stressing over that perfect balance I have decided that I want to give myself a less balanced year and a more relaxed one.