Thursday, May 2, 2013

Balance: Moving From Overwhelmed to Empowered

Balance: Moving From Overwhelm to Empowered
Balance: Moving From Overwhelmed to Empowered

This month’s theme at the Center is Balance. I’m looking forward to hear what insights Dr. Heather has to share on the topic.

I have to confess, that the word itself conjures feelings of inadequacy in me. I know it shouldn’t. In fact, its intent is just the opposite. But the fact is that I have chased the idea of balance for years, and it has proved even more elusive than finding an extra hour to squeeze in a pedicure. I suppose those feelings come with the territory. After all, as the busy mother of three active children, there isn’t a lot of time left over at the end of the day for introspection. It is easy to let myself become overwhelmed by the activities and demands of the life that I have chosen, but the thing is, when I do pause to stop and think about it, I come face-to-face with the fact that I am at choice. I also realize that there is nothing inadequate about me.

I chose to stay with my three wonderful children. I wouldn’t change that for anything. It has been the greatest experience of my life. It means fewer vacations and older cars, but it also means never having to miss a swim meet, water polo game or school function.  

I also chose to volunteer for numerous organizations, but they all have meaning for me and my family. It is a matter of setting priorities. Most of the activities I participate in directly benefit one or more of my children. This has become my litmus test:  when given the opportunity to help, I ask myself how my involvement will benefit my family. If I don’t see the benefit, I let the opportunity pass, knowing that there is someone better suited for it.  

Perhaps one of the best tools in my quest for balance is talking with other mothers. As we share our stories, I am reminded that each of us is a work in progress. One of the best places to share those stories is at the Center’s monthly Parent Forum. Facilitated by Rev Pattie Mercado, the Parent Forum meets from 11:30-1pm on the first Thursday of each month.  Not only do the monthly topics generate insightful discussions, but there is something very empowering about knowing there are others who have made similar choices, who grapple with similar issues, and who I can clearly see are excellent parents. I am reminded that I am a really good parent, too.