Is Balance an Unattainable and Unworthy Goal?

Today's guest post comes from Heidi Oran of The Conscious Perspective — a space for non-judgemental, compassionate discussion.

I know that many of us wear different hats each day — mom, writer, volunteer, changemaker, or whatever it is that calls out to the deepest parts of us. As much as we imagine living lives of simplicity (I said simple, not easy), there seems to be a drive and determination in us to do something beyond the traditional boundaries of motherhood. Something that may have nothing to do with our children at all.

I know it isn't just me. I know it's not just the people I surround myself with. I see it everywhere; a shift that is occurring telling us that we don't have to "give up" anything. We can live our dreams and be present parents. We can go after what excites and inspires us and still pack lunches. In fact, there is no better example for our children than to see their moms following their path and living a truly joyful life.

As we step closer to this reality, I propose that it is time to toss "balance" out the window. Balance became a buzz word associated with modern moms years ago, and although it had good intentions, it instead created a new set of limitations for us. I don't know about you, but I have no interest in living within an imaginary set of limitations.

One lesson I have learned by wearing so many hats over the past six years as a mother, is that achieving balance is impossible in the traditional sense. You can't divide yourself into parts to ensure every aspect of your life is satisfied.

Life is messy.

Parenthood is unpredictable.

Business is always evolving.

We will forever feel like failures; like we are not good enough, if we continue to strive for "balance."

On our journeys, as we follow what makes our hearts sing alongside our children (their hearts are always singing along), we need to take each moment one step at a time. Each project one step at a time. We need to stop resisting the challenges that come up, that make us feel like we are not accomplishing our goals.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, stop and remind yourself that you are not striving for a balanced day — everything will get done in due time. You are striving for a day where you devote all of your energy in whatever task you happened to be doing at the time.

You will be completely present for your child. You will be focused in your work.

Because that's what it's all about right? Enjoying the moments as they unfold.


Do you agree with Heidi? Is "balance" an antiquated and unrealistic goal? What do you do to achieve normalcy and satisfaction with your competing responsibilities?

Here's what I had to say on the subject of balance: #6 in How to Pursue Professional Goals as a Young Mom.


Photo: ($20 for the print)