Moms and the elusive balancing act
Posted: 20 May, 2016
By: Annemarie Lombard
Section: Education, Parenting
“I want to be a balanced mom, but I just don’t know how!” Does this sound familiar?
In the modern busy lifestyle that we lead today, mothers ironically have to juggle their balancing acts more and more. Moms are in constant demand to ensure that all family members are happy and healthy, that their kids are developing, and to meet other work/life deadlines.
In 2012, the Pew Research Centre published the following statistics:
• 56% of mothers are feeling stressed about juggling work and family life; and
• 40% of mothers say that they always feel rushed.
These are quite significant results. Although this is a reality, we so easily slip into feeling over-stressed, which can and does have a major effect on our health and wellbeing. While stressful events around us may not change, we need to learn how to respond skilfully to life’s challenges, to maintain equilibrium and a sense of wellbeing.
Take time to include “me’’
As a mom, you play such an integral part in your family system. Your health and wellbeing is therefore just as important to consider as the rest of your family’s. If you break down, the entire family unit suffers. There is one very important component that needs to be considered daily in order to maintain a balance within your body and to ensure your vitality and wellbeing. That is being aware of and fulfilling your sensory needs.
Perhaps you need more movement in your day and you are not getting enough of it. Perhaps you need less noise in your day, but are struggling to achieve this. Some people find that going to gym is de-stressing, but others don’t. Why is this? We all have unique sensory preferences and tolerances to sensory input. What activities calm down some people may not effectively calm you down. Gaining awareness of your sensory needs will enable you to choose the relevant and appropriate de-stressing activities for you as an individual.
One of the common tips that various blogs or websites recommend when trying to de-stress and finding a better work/life balance, is that you need to make more “me” time. This is vital. But what is the best thing for you to do with your “me” time?
Make sure that you do at least one thing each day that calms you down and allows you to “regroup”. Maybe you need to do something midday before you fetch your kids from school or in the late afternoons before dinner time or just at the end of the day. It may be difficult to find time for yourself, especially when having to juggle so many different balls at once.
With better time management, commitment, routine and an agreement with your other half to allow you this extra time once a day/week, it may be more possible to find time to meet your own sensory needs. This doesn’t have to take long, but needs to be effective enough that it de-stresses you sufficiently.
There are at least two types of daily/weekly sensory aids that can help you achieve greater equilibrium. They are:
- Sensory snacks are small “snacks” or activities that are incorporated into your day, such as drinking out of a sports bottle, chewing on gum or other crunchy or chewy foods, practicing deep breathing, or squeezing a stress ball; and
- Sensory meals are more meaningful activities that can be introduced into your day or week that meet your sensory needs. Maybe you need to go to gym, go for a walk, take time to read, do a pottery class, or go for coffee with a friend.
When an activity meets your sensory needs, it will calm your body, stimulate your mind, make you feel happy and help decrease your stress levels. Including more calming activities in your daily routine will help you be calmer and more regulated so that you are better able to attend to your family’s ever increasing needs.
Sensory Intelligence® Consulting offers individual coaching sessions to help individuals who want to learn more about their sensory irritations, who are feeling sensory overloaded or easily stressed, or who are struggling to juggle all their roles to achieve a better work-life balance.