It seems balance is the one thing we are all trying to achieve. That perfect state of family/children/partner/work/self care…
Let me take you on a journey of how I create some clear balance in my rural Aussie lifestyle.
All the bombardment of how you should run your life, look after kids etc etc.
There seems to be something new every day that you are not doing.
Luckily I’m not the type to buy into all of that.
But oh yeah, I do feel the pinch of just ‘living life in the moment’.
There’s so many things to do.
As my two children get older, I get busier, we get busier. My husband does as well.
Have you seen that meme, with Barbie. ‘Me, how I look after trying to look after kids, spend quality time with partner, tidy house & practice self care…’
I feel like that.
And yet I feel that I kinda have at least some balance in my life.
Feeling like you are rocking your world. Kids loved, fed, and dressed.
Then you turn around and realise you can’t make it to school assembly when your son has a few lines.
I know in my mind that I can’t do it all.
It’s impossible and too much to ask of myself.
Impossible to ask that of my family.
Over the years I bought quite a few planners. For home, but mostly business.
Sticking to a plan is great.
I’ve set up recurring reminders on my phone, google tasks, family calendars.
Sooo…do you they really work? Well, yes. If you stick to them.
I guess my point is, there is no rhyme or reason to be super organised to achieve some balance.
I find Balance is a state of mind, with a little bit of planning thrown in.
Now in my life, my family and I live in a remote area, on an island off the coast of Australia. Up until very recently, it was just us with no extended family.
So we’ve had NO spare babysitters for the last 8 years, we don’t even have childcare where we live.
Nor has there been gym’s, movie theatres, cafe’s, pub’s, yoga etc near us.
At times it’s been a little difficult, but for the most part, I’ve LOVED it.
I’ve brought up my son, and now my daughter who is nearly three, in the Aussie bush with no daycare or regular babysitters. And they have thrived.
At the same time, my husband and I have cultivated a very successful business, and now I have started my own little side project, a new business which I dearly love.
We’ve done this all from our home and don’t really have a strict time schedule to adhere to.
Not having to be somewhere at a certain can make life easier to achieve a sense of balance, but you sure do need to be motivated.
My sense of balance comes from a few simple things.
With all the time I spend in the office and doing housework, I’ve found I need to be in nature a little bit more.
Spending time in my garden or getting the kids to the river does a lot for my state of mind.
Even if it’s barely an hour. And the cream on top of this, is if I get to do something without the kids for a while.
And while I hate to say this, and would NEVER admit it to my husband, having a somewhat tidy house helps me feel like I’ve got it together. I’m cringing as I write this now. I hate housework, but letting it pile up just gets me feeling run down. Now please don’t get me wrong. My house is not spotless, and tidying up the lounge and living areas get done every second or third day. Our ensuite is one of the last places to get cleaned too
But if I manage to get some of the housework done during the week, I feel like I’m a total domestic goddess. My kitchen is an exception to this, I have it spic and span every day.
My Beautiful little girl Meadow
There’s been a few hacks over the years which have helped me free up some time for myself.
- Catching up with girlfriends.
No one is going to make you feel better that those women. They will understand where you are coming from, tell you they are going through the exact same thing and not to worry about it. They pour you a cup of tea, or a glass of wine while you can laugh or cry.
- Carving out some time for me.
We hear this all the time, but how do we do it? By walking out the door. Ignore the mess, and everything else that needs attention. Ignore the looks you may get from your family. Ignore whatever guilt or issues you have with this. Just walk out that door.
- Getting a new interest/hobby (in my case its my little side business).
This demands a certain amount of time from me, which is refreshing and lets me get my creative juices flowing.
- Teach your children how to tidy up after themselves.
And from an early age too. I started with both of mine from when they were two. I remember it so well, my son and I had a standoff for two days before he would pick up his toys! In the end I gently but firmly marched him over, put my hand over his and picked up the toys. He got the jist of it very quickly. It's certainly not perfect at two, but even my daughter understands now about putting toys away
- I introduced the 5 minute family clean up.
It’s self explanatory really. When the house needs a tidy up on weeknights, I announce ‘lets’ all have a five minute tidy up’ and boy does it work!
- Plan a few holidays throughout the year.
This is another big one which helps the entire family. They don’t have to be huge, but having something coming up that everyone can look forward to is a happy part of family life. My son was so excited when we went to the recent Lego Exhibition in Adelaide (so was my husband lol).
As for productivity in our business the one thing that helped me was to sit at the bus stop and do my basic bookwork on my phone.
I could not believe how much this helped. 10 -15 minutes a day and it would help me keep on top of it.
Now I’ve upgraded to a bookkeeper, even better!
What I can’t wait to do in the future, is to keep a better time schedule, with stuff planned out for me - whatever I need to do to keep my self care in check. But that will start when kindy begins in two years time
Until then, I will take every day as it comes and when I need some time out,
I’ll ask for it as well, so should you!