Anyone else find it difficult to establish balances? I mean it was already hard enough when I was single, then it got harder when Grace and I got married, and now it’s gotten EVEN harder as a parent of one, and soon there’ll be two children! Of course, whatever “free time” I do get, I kind of just want to sit and vegetate in front of the TV, and then I end up complaining about not having enough time haha, but there is something to be said about balance.
Working 40+ hours a week, while finding the time to workout, get quality time with Grace, get quality time with Lucas, investing time in friendships, getting all the bills and finances in order, and continuing to find time to volunteer at our local church is no easy task. And with baby number two, I feel like things will just get a little more chaotic. I’ve been better at prioritizing and saying no to things than in the past, but it is still no easy task. I’m blessed with a job that I can do from anywhere, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been working from home for the past 7 months now. This has certainly allowed me to have more time since I’m not commuting an hour to work each way. So projects around the house and overall maintenance have all gotten much easier to complete (talk about laundry, yard-care, vacuuming, etc.). Grace, on the other hand, has had to continue going in to the hospital, so I’m definitely thankful for this extra time. BUT even with this extra time, I’m still not able to do it all.
I know I’ve talked about this once before in this blog, but I will say it again because I truly believe this is true. There can’t be a perfectly balanced life. We can’t do it all in a day: working out, spending quality time with friends and family, being a good husband, being a good dad, spend time making sure the finances and bills are in order, giving time back to our community, staying educated on what’s happening in the world, working on hobbies or interests, and whatever else may come knocking on our door. The reality, for me at least, is that we have to decide what’s important to us and focus on those things. So rather than doing a poor job at everything and coming up short, feeling exhausted and unaccomplished, we have to focus on what we consider most important and knock those out of the park. The original priorities can certainly shift as time goes on and re-evaluation of these priorities is needed to make sure that what we spend our time on is aligned to what we believe is most important to us.
So what is important to me? First of all God comes first. I read the Bible every morning when I first wake up, and make sure to watch our online church service on Sundays. Second is Grace. And now with Lucas and baby #2 coming, making sure Grace and I maintain our marriage strong has to be a very intentional effort on our part. It’s so easy to just put Lucas ahead of Grace since Lucas requires a lot of attention, but I try to prioritize our relationship since I know that having a strong marriage will be one of the best things we can do in our parenting of Lucas (and baby #2). Next is of course Lucas (and baby #2). I try to set time where Lucas and I can connect, whether that is going outside and playing with a ball, on the swing set, or just running around, I want to make sure we’re able to have some time together. The rest of the priorities come as there is time. For example, I try to wake up at 5am (sometimes earlier) to get on the bike during the week, and on the weekends, I will try to get a ride in in the mornings, getting back by breakfast time if I can make it.
I’m okay with saying no to things now, and as long as my priorities are aligned to what I’m assigning my time to, then I’m happy with my decisions. If you’re like me, making a list and assigning priorities to what’s really important to you and using your time for that will be one of the best things you can do.