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The Dreaded B Word

Written by: Gabrielle Cole, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

When you hear “b word,” I imagine the first one that comes to mind isn’t a nice one. But the one I’m referring to is even more upsetting to moms sometimes—I’m talking about balance.


When I suggest “balance” as a concept to mothers, the defeat is immediate. Even before I can make a case, I see the deflation and doubt that comes with the idea of balance. Every mom has a different reaction to the idea of balance, but no mom is left without an opinion.


Some moms instinctually start to fight, ready to explain why balance is so unachievable that it is unfair to even mention it. Some moms feel like it sets an unfair expectation because there are simply too many pieces for “balance” to be accurate and suggest a softer word like “juggle” or “blend.” And still, some moms are in staunch defense of balance as the only way to describe what we as moms do.

Myth: Balance is an unachievable goal in motherhood.

Truth: Balance is not a goal at all—it’s a method.


Balance isn’t something we can aim for long-term, as a solution to every problem we have. There will never be a moment when everything is balanced and our work is finished, because what we do every day as moms changes. Instead, balance is a method to calm the madness. When we employ it as a tool, it becomes a way to gauge all of the various tasks and challenges vying for our attention.


No longer are we up against a looming destination of “Balance” with a capital B. Now, we recognize that balance is the journey itself, and we can watch how our priorities shift to complement each other and work together towards small daily successes.


Myth: Pursuing a state of balance sets moms up for failure.

Truth: Balance is not a state of being—it’s an action.


Yes, if we are aiming for a final and sustainable idea of a balanced life—one that we can check off of our to-do list as “done”—then failure will be inevitable. Because balance isn’t a one-and-done solution. By definition, it’s the “act of weight distribution.”


That means that it is an ongoing discipline we use to assess and prioritize our lives. Here’s an example: instead of “a balanced diet for my family means only eating out once a week” a sustainable way to use balance as an action instead of a state of being is to reframe that to, “balance in the way my family eats means that for every meal we eat on the go, we’ll add an extra veggie to another meal we have at home that week.” We all know that some weeks, that type of balance will shake out to more eating on the fly than others—and that’s what makes it a balanced and not a strict code!


Myth: Balance is limiting.

Truth: Balance is flexible.


Balance is not black and white. What works for your family won’t necessarily work for someone else’s, and vice versa. As you learn to utilize balance as a tool, the only measure for success is what you can see working for your world, and it’s okay to pivot, reassess, and try something new as often as you need to. Families may choose to prioritize many different things—family time, extracurriculars, travel, academics—and there’s no right or wrong approach to how to balance them all.


Even more, the way balance looks may change as your season of life and family structure changes, and that’s why balance as a tool is so much more effective than balance as an end destination.


The Balance to Find First


Before you can focus on balancing all of your mom's responsibilities, the first step is establishing how you will balance giving to yourself and giving to your family. Balance leads to strong mental health, and strong mental health leads to thriving motherhood.


Reclaim the word balance! Redirect your time and energy from trying to point out why balance doesn’t work into energy spent creating solutions and establishing balance as a tool we can use in whatever way works best for us.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, or visit my website for more info!


 

Gabrielle Cole, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Gabby Cole is a Founder/CEO; mother of twin girls and advocate for moms everywhere. She was married in 2011 and by 2012, she was a mother to twin girls. Gabby has an established career in pharmaceutical sales, as well as pursuing her dreams of becoming a “Mompreneur.” It is her hope that she can dedicate her life to helping women like her find their purpose and become the woman and mother they want to be.

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