Parenting: The Great Balancing Act

The saying, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day” is never more true that when you get married, and even more so if you decide to have kids.
Of all thing lessons we’re left to learn on our own through trial and error, there is one I wished someone would have prepared me for…just a little. The lesson that from the time you get married and have kids, life is going to be a complete balancing act, and you’re not going to be able to do it all…and that’s ok.
I feel the pressure, like any parent, of working long hours to provide for my family, spending time with my kids, cleaning around the house, and if I’m lucky, a little personal time with my wife. It’s not easy, and it feels like no matter how much I plan, it always devolved into some sort of mishmash version of what I had hoped for.
That’s why at the beginning of 2017 my wife and I sat down and decided to come up with plan we were going to stick to. A plan that had many layers to it, and involved decluttering our lives, of both physical items and emotional items that were blocking us from spending our time and energy on the things we loved. And most of all, blocked us from spending time with our kids, and with each other.
We spent the first couple months of 2017 purging items around our house. I think we sold or donated half our stuff, no joke. My biggest surprise was that my wife got rid of probably 3/4 of her clothes. I saw a closet I hadn’t seen in years! Once we did that we started focusing on the emotional aspects of our life.
We first completely reworked our household budget. We cut down in areas we didn’t really need, and instead invested in areas we valued much more. This not only freed up money for family activities, but also help created money for each of us to be able to do things that we enjoyed for our own self-care. For example, I love to do kickboxing for my physical training and self-care, and my wife is really into yoga.
I think the area our new focus on balance has improved the most is the time we are able to spend with our kids. Our son is at the age now where he is wanting to do project and create things. I love going to the store with him and seeing him pick out something that is more creative based, instead of some random toy. And his first questions is always the same, “Mommy/Daddy, will you do this with me?”
I love seeing his little eyes light up when he finishes something and he feels so accomplished, and I love it even more when I see that smile on his face when he says, “Thanks for helping me.”  He’s really into race cars right now, and recently he came home with some wooden cars and a paint kit after a trip to the arts and crafts store with my Wife. He was so excited to paint them. He did it all by himself, while we sat at the table and watched him do it…by his request of course.
I also love that he wants to be involved in all the fun projects I get to do with my writing. He always wants to be in the pictures, or take part in silly challenges just so he can say he did it. And this year’s #CheeriosChallenge was no different. Every day he asked me if we could stack cheerios on something. Heck, he came up with some of the best ideas for pictures, even stacking them on his mom while she was sleeping:

Yes, being a parent is hard. Balance is even harder. But, much like the #CheeriosChallenge, if your plan topples over, you clean up, start over, and come up with a new plan for success. And maybe get a cute partner to help you out.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Life of Dad and Cheerios. I received compensation for this post; however, all opinions stated are my own.


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