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Balance is bullsh*t.

Fat Mum Slim /

As I write this blog post, I’m sitting on the edge of my bed as my daughter showers in the ensuite a metre from me, and dinner is cooking in the oven. I have 3567 emails unread in my inbox, 61 unread text messages on my phone and an array of unpaid bills stuck to my fridge. My wardrobe has swiftly turned into a floordrobe, and I’m not even sure what’s happening to my hair. I shared a selfie a few days ago and someone commented, “You’re rocking the mum bun!” and I didn’t know if it was a compliment or a cheeky pay out.

I’m pretty much a hot mess.

Since becoming a mum I’ve been in some constant state of ‘mess’. Some days are better than others, but for the most part it’s always some level of absolute imperfection. I’m kinda OK with that. Imperfection is the new black, no?

For a long time, especially the last five years, I’ve attempted to master life. From the outside it seems that so many others have done it and are doing it. On Instagram it appears that they’ve got immaculate houses, alphabetically organised pantries, folded laundry, clever, well-adjusted children, and careers to boot. I’m over here drowning in laundry and have only ironed once in the past five years.

I haven’t even been aiming for perfection, I’ve been working towards some kind of balance. It’s this precarious act of trying to make things work. I have my own business, which is so complex and multi-faceted, and probably needs more than one person {me!} on board, and I have kids that I want to be with as much as possible, a lovely husband that likes a bit of attention now and then, a house that needs caring for, a dog that needs walking, family that needs loving, friends that need texting {I am positively BAD at that} and then there’s my own self too. It’s a balancing act.

And how I’ve tried to balance it all. I have tried. Please don’t think for a moment that I think I have any more than any normal person. All I know is what is on my plate. I have tried to balance that plate. Some weeks work wins, and I’m a positively crappy parent. Other weeks I’m sure my husband wonders who he married. And then some weeks I feel like I’m almost getting on top of work, and that’s a really great feeling. Fleeting, but awesome.

I’ve learned though, that when it comes to life, there really is no such thing as balance. Balance is bullshit. I’ve tried and I can’t make it happen. Something always has to give. If I’m winning at mum life, then I’m telling you… something else is failing. Miserably.

Aiming for balance isn’t a healthy thing, for me anyway. It puts unnecessary pressure on myself to achieve something that’s a little bit unattainable. And, hopefully without sounding too obnoxious, balance probably isn’t a destination anyway, but more a journey. It’s always going to be an ongoing balancing act, a battle more than balance if you will.

Instead of balance I aim for something else; more imperfection. I lower my standards a little, I accept help when I can {and getting a cleaner in definitely helps!} and let some stuff go. Hopefully my friends will understand in the meantime, and patiently await my return texts… even if they do take months.

Because, say it with me, balance is bullshit. It really is.

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  • It’s total bullshit. The best you can do is go with what needs doing (eg working to pay the bills), and what fulfills you. You really have to look hard in yourself about what really matters and prioritise that. eg rigid house work schedule vs spending time with the kids or doing something to nourish yourself. Just don’t lose sight of what the most important things are, the rest will take care of itself. We’re doing the best we can. My mantra that I repeat to myself and my friends #bekindtoyourself

    x

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    For me it’s about integration, it’s always a juggle.

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It

    Totally agree. I recently heard the saying ‘progress not perfection’ which resonated with me. Sometimes it’s just about getting [email protected] done, not getting it done so the Queen would approve. My kids don’t care if dinner is worthy of a Michelin Star or if it’s reheated from yesterday; they just want to be fed.
    Changing the way you think about being perfect and balance is an ongoing challenge but definitely worth it as it saves your sanity!

  • Becky Lofdahl

    It really is about balancing the BS. I just want to take a moment to let you know Chantelle that I really appreciate all the work and effort you put into your blog PaD and for everything else that encourages us to enjoy life. Oh and messy mum buns.
    I am yet to master!!! Xx Bex.

  • I love this! Recently a FB friend asked a desperate question on how other people do it all and the comments were all united ‘nobody does it all’ ‘my house is a shit show’ etc etc. I think it’s good to have a check in with yourself and be totally okay with imperfections in life!! Everyone is in the same boat x

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  • Balance is definitely hard. I think just trying to do it all is hard. I think we should just all do our best and know that we’re doing good. Nobody’s perfect! I’m a hot mess most days. Think I’m finally getting used to having two kids after almost 7 months!

    Who Let the Mum Out?

  • Nayeli Guerrero

    I love this post, because it’s the truth… being a mom is not aiming for perfection/balance because perfection doesn’t exist. And we can’t compare to other moms online ‘cos all kids have different needs, all husbands have different needs and all jobs require different skills. But what I have found out about being a mom is that I am that exact blessing/help that my family and my friends need- even when I don’t feel like I am. So don’t let those sh*tty thoughts invade your beautiful mind – you’re awesome Chantelle! Your blog, pics, designs, and ideas are a blessing & inspiration to me 💜💜💜

  • Gail Forbes

    Hi Chantelle, Learn that you are carrying stories with you about what life is meant to be. Instead wake up each day with a clean slate and create the possibility of what you can do in that day, do this everyday. I learnt this over the weekend at a Landmark Forum and today has been a beautiful day and I have done so much without a story or anything just doing. I know it will take me a long time to totally take my stories and guilt trips out of my days but I hope that I will learn to be more authentic. Have a wonderful life

  • Therese

    I once saw a coffee cup that said “world’s ok-est mom” and that’s what I’m working on 🙂 I saw it at a time when I was trying to be the perfect mum and tying myself in knots and failing dismally and beating myself up about it… then I realised I don’t have to be perfect. I can settle for good… world’s goodest mum?….. and so I made myself a coffee cup with ‘world’s okay-est mum’ on it and while I decorated that my daughter decorate her own and we had fun and it reminds me that life is messy and I’m not going to get it right all the time and that’s OK

  • Vivienne Faith

    I once had very wise advice when I was pregnant with my 1st daughter (27 yrs old this year – where did that time go??). It was “Don’t expect to be clean & tidy till they leave home.” The other was “Keep the communication lines open at all times. Other things can wait but never pass up an opportunity to talk with & listen to your children.” That was the best advice ever given. Nothing, & I mean absolutely nothing, matters more than the closeness of your family. Work at that as your top priority & you’ll be rewarded abundantly for life.

  • I think balance is an urban myth – it’s all about tilting. I listened to a podcast on the Mummy Soul Sessions about it once. It’s almost impossible to juggle all the balls of the time, sometimes you have to drop some balls so you can focus on others and that’s OK. Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and take a break too, all the while remembering, you can do anything but you can’t do everything (not all of the time anyway!)

@Fatmumslim