Balanced Life: An Oxymoron

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Warning: Rough school year ahead. This is what I told myself all summer long while I was working to avoid this reality. Not because I thought the students would be hard to handle, they have actually been amazing. In fact, I think this has been the smoothest start to a school year I have ever had. What’s rough is all that new stuff I anticipated in my first year teacher blog post. I’m a first year teacher again: working with new standards, new texts, new colleagues, and there are always new mandates from the higher-ups. This was a challenge I was willing to take head on, but I hadn’t considered the effect it would have at home.

My house is a disaster. There is a cobweb behind my bathroom door that mocks me every morning. Having been pregnant two years in a row, I vowed to get my body back this year and started to exercise every morning. This is the one thing I’ve managed to be consistent about. Blogging, not so much. This is why I’m writing tonight, to say that in this season of life striving for balance is just not possible. And that’s ok.

Living with two toddlers and a teacher husband we are often in survival mode. What’s the nearest deadline, prioritize from there. Then add the time we want to spend together as a family, the time we need to clean up after the fun we have together, and let’s not forget that our daughter doesn’t enjoy sleep like the rest of us do. Life is not balanced, it’s mostly exhausting. Yes, I’ve read some other blogs about how to create more balance in our life, but most of those (at least what I could find) are written from moms who stay at home with their kids. Don’t read that as SAHMs don’t work, I’m completely aware of the work they do, remember that is my summer. But when you teach 88 kids a day they become as important to you as the two you actually gave birth to and are then on your mind all the time.

There is always so much to plan for, and then all the things that you didn’t plan for or forgot to write down to plan for. It’s survival mode. It’s the idea that if it didn’t get done today the sun comes up tomorrow and I’ll take another stab at it. This season of teaching a new grade, living with toddlers, three years into marriage is not going to find balance.

 Find balance.  One thing off my To Do list!

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Carly Black

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