• Marina Stepanova

Illusion Of Balance

It really feels like motherhood divides a woman`s life into ‘before’ and ‘after’. My life before my babies just does not seem real. I can remember events, relationships, various experiences, but through the prism of motherhood. I sometimes have to stop myself from telling my younger self off for being freaking stupid for wasting my time on a certain person or for not getting my arse off the sofa to go and achieve something or just enjoy myself more, rather than cry over something that did not even matter.

Now, when my resources are more limited than ever, I have really started to use them wisely. I cannot afford to stumble through life blindly. I now have a plan and I take action. As I keep saying in Resourceful Mum – take a step towards your goal every day, no matter how small. I know that my babies are watching, so I cannot afford to just live aimlessly.

This brings me to the topic of balance. I have started to believe that this myth of a ‘balanced life’ doesn’t really exist. I would take it a step further and say that it is a load of crap.

When I had Daniel over three and a half years ago my whole world turned upside down. I didn’t know who I was anymore - there was chaos all around me. Many of my relationships changed. I wasn’t ready for that challenge. Secretly I knew before I had him that I was not ready to be a mum. I was not ready to take responsibility for another human being. I did not feel strong enough, I didn’t feel responsible enough, I wasn’t financially stable. I just was not prepared. I just let it happened. I planned the baby, but not all of the other important stuff that goes with it.

Every day I felt like I was failing. I felt exhausted. I didn’t know how I was still walking. Then I would get up the next day and I was still alive and still going out for walks and even meeting people who thought that I was doing just fine. In reality, I was feeling sorry for myself, because I knew I was not going to get a break ever. At the same time, I felt embarrassed for wanting a break, because I was a mother and surely I was just supposed to get on with it. What was wrong with me?

So many things went on inside my head. On the outside though I was just a first time mum who was doing alright. I didn’t even look that bad (surprisingly).

Now that my son is three years and eight months and my daughter is two years and five months old, I feel like a completely different person. I feel like a power house. A tired power house, but nonetheless. I am a mum and I am not afraid to say that I don’t have it all figured out. I blag my way through every day and I know that it is all working out. I don’t have balance in my life and I don’t think it is natural to have balance the way it is portrayed. Not when you have children anyway.

If you think about it, to achieve any goal (short-term, medium, or long-term), you have to get yourself out of balance for a period of time. Let`s take an easy example of saving for a car. If you set yourself a goal to save a certain amount of money in three months, then some areas of your life would be ‘out of balance’ for that amount of time. You will probably have to cut down on social outings and therefore would not see some of your friends as often. You might not keep up with your beauty regime (haircuts, waxing, facials, etc. might go out the window). You may decide to not take a trip that you wanted to take for a while. You make that sacrifice to achieve your goal. Raising a child is sort of a long-term goal so chances are lots of other areas of your life will take a back seat.

So, mama, if you don’t have it all figured out and you feel like it`s all falling apart – it`s not really. It is a way it is supposed to be and you are doing alright. What helped me the most was taking tiny bits of time out of my day to figure out what I wanted from life, making a plan and putting it into action. The rest is history. I enjoy doing what I do and I enjoy my babies. I am playing catch up in terms of getting us the life that I want us to have, but I will get there. I feel frustrated at times, but it

is the way it is supposed to be.


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