stupid freaking balance


I am not the biggest fan of these words.

All of them are elusive (a word I do like).

Well, okay, maybe not moist, that's not elusive...it's just icky.

I've written about how I feel about balance many times, about how unattainable it is. If I'm going to mother, I'm going to have an UNbalanced life, that's the reality. And either I can accept that, or get swallowed in the anger and tension of trying to fight for a balance that remains out of reach no matter how DISCIPLINED I am.

I'm getting a tiny bit better at this acceptance thing, but man, some days I just want to scream at should and discipline and balance. Like a mad woman-just screaming until my furrowed forehead and wide open mouth get stuck in their angry wrinkle-inducing expressions.

Maybe that's what I should do, just discipline myself to let it all out, going off and out of control on freaking balance. Yeah, just scream in the face of balance and then move on, relaxing a bit in the tension of my UNbalanced life.

After all, my unbalanced life is just as it should be, wonky and messy and scattered and good. It's just fine to get mad at the exhaustion of spinning around in such grace-giving crazy-making, as long as I can see that less time for me will not always be less and it is not less even now.

Okay, then. I should stop now. Apparently the lack of balance has stolen my ability to make sense.


make a meal
write a book
change the laundry
paint the house
make the call
return the favor
read the books
walk the dog
break up fights
make up beds
sweep the floor
wipe the butt
turn on the air
see the dust
tell the joke
play the game
give the bath
wipe the floor
button the shirt
lock the door
open the windows
get the snack
hugs and kisses
say prayers
watch the show
pick new cabinets
sleep short
stay sober
get groceries
return the movie
fill the cup

We people
we women
we mothers
so unbalanced
no shoulds
what discipline?
we're good.
no guilt
no shame
just love.

"look for the beauty that can be found...in setting up the pins and knocking them down." -Sara Groves

34 clicked right here to comment:

Tina Dee Books said...

Hmm...maybe you had lost your mind when you wrote this, maybe that's why we understand it--I loved it!

Welcome to the group (of lost minds and the unbalanced, LOL)

And here's a cyber hug for making me laugh at life and at myself!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Gosh, balance is such an ugly word, isn't it? But you know what? I'm finding that everyday doesn't have to be the same, so my balance is that everyday ISN'T balanced. If a couple days get skipped over for laundry, or a couple days every crumb isn't off the floor, so long as things are accomplished that need to be accomplished by the end of the week, that's my balance. I'm learning as I go, foraying through this dangerous balance forest, too. Let's find some balance sustenance together, shall we?

{squish and love to you}

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, Lisa. Exactly. I'm accepting imbalance more and more, too. I think sometimes I feel unneeded pressure born out of insecurity, to be more disciplined or some such thing. That's what makes me want to scream. And then I let go again and move on. Such a fun cycle :)

Nicki said...

I so agree. I dislike the word balance. Should has always been a bad one too. Moist - at least in the recent humidity we have been having - is one I have decided I just have to deal with.

Love the words, the writing!!!!

Jenny said...

Heather - LOVE your blog. Love this post. Thanks for putting words to what I've been grumbling at. You just made my life a whole lot better. :) HUGS - you're brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not the point of the post, but I am totally with you on the word moist. Ew.

deb said...


Kristen @ Motherese said...

Oh, honey. I so get this. Today especially. Thank you for putting your thoughts so beautifully - and in a way that helps me understand my own thoughts even better.


Corinne said...

Amen to that.
I just sent you an email. I so needed you to post this today. Thanks for knowing ;)

Heather of the EO said...

You're welcome, friend.

I'm happy to be a prophetess ;)

CaJoh said...

We are all adaptive creatures who naturally move towards some form of equilibrium. When things are unbalanced there is a natural tendency to right them. Sometimes we overcompensate, while other times we don't do enough. Don't worry too much about being perfectly balanced. If you are then your life becomes static and there is no movement.

MommyJ said...

I'm not sure I've ever loved some one that I've only spent twenty minutes with in real life quite as much as I love you. I really mean that.

Love your perspective and your ability to voice what so many of us feel. Keep writing, dear woman.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Just when I think I've found balance, it goes running the other way. It's skittish like that. I've tried to stop searching for it, yet it keeps calling my name. One of these days I will track it down. Probably when the kids have moved out of the house. Or when I finally go insane.

Heather of the EO said...

I love it that ya'll get it. (yes, I said "ya'll" and I'm from Minnesota...heh)

CaJoh- YES YES and YES. thank you. being wonky keeps me creative, that's what I've decided. I don't like stagnant, so I think I'll embrace the imbalance even more. Your comment was so well-put. woot to the hoot. (can you tell I've had too much coffee???sheesh)

becca said...

Your perspective, your list of "shoulds" - it's giving me happy shivers. No shame. Just love. Wonderful words, and thanks for putting them down.

TKW said...

Balance is a dirty word in my house. I'm tired of thinking about it, tired of feeling like I should have it, tired of feeling guilty that I don't. I wave the white flag. Chaos, you win.

DeNae said...

Those two incontrovertible physical laws - homeostasis and entropy - catch all of us in the crossfire.

The search for balance, life's natural tendency toward chaos - it's a wonder any of us even get up in the morning!

But we do, and we tell the universe, "Nice try, but I'm still in here swinging!"

Cuz that's the only way anything ever gets done, huh?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So true... And it's funny that I've become really happy with my life now that I have so little control over everything (and everyone) in it. My house is a mess, I'm always late and disorganized and my kids usually need something or other wiped off of them. And I feel better than I did in my care and wrinkle free twenties. There has to be a lesson in there somewhere...

Cassandra Frear said...

Balance is always a challenge, for all of us. Me, too.

Robin said...

I got tired just reading your list (although mine's not much shorter... how do we do it? At least I'm quite comfortable with the why we do it. That's very clear to me...)

wendy said...

Balance is in the eyes of the beholder.
Like when you hang a picture, my hubs will ask me is it balanced,
Yeah, looks balanced enought for me
Hubby looks at it..what are you talking about. It is way off blance.
Me....balanced enough for me.

Everyone has a different sense of balance. It is a lifetime of rebalancing.
At my age, and now kids at home....not even having to hold down a job.....I NEED TO FIND SOME BALANCE

life is more like a sew saw...up and down up and down

katdish said...

Ah, how I love a good rant!

Aging Mommy said...

Ah I totally agree, with young pre-school children there really can be no balance, unless you employ a full time nanny and housekeeper :-) But these days with such very young children will pass oh so fast and when they are done and we are at home all day long while they are at school I am sure we will still feel totally unbalanced :-)

Barbie said...

As a mom with four kids who works full time, I realized a long time ago that my ideal of balance will never be attained. I have learned to let more things go these days. Otherwise I would drive myself insane. I loved this post!

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

My unbalanced list looks a bit different because the kids are older. But I still look at the dust.

No butt wiping. This is a plus.

I get the butt looks.

unbalanced for a different reason.

Your compassion and knowing made a difference in this house.

warmchocmilk said...

Yep, unbalanced..should..dicipline..throw in a bit of screaming..you summed up my life lately babe!

Brooke G. said...

I sort of love this post! We all feel it, it helps to know we aren't alone - right?
I just keep reminding myself that these years zoom by and we will miss this days. I am sure of it!

michelle said...

One of my favorite books, Looking for God: An Unexpected Journey through Tattoos, Tofu, and Pronouns by Nancy Ortberg ...has an entire chapter called the B word where she comments on the impossibility of balance. love it.
but, and is one of my favorite words. have an entire post about it soon....

Sarah said...

oh sister sister i hear ya. of course i do. balance? shmalance, i say. SHOULD? ick, i say. moist? EW, i say.

but after all is said and done, recognizing that elusive BALANCE THING makes you more balanced than you even know.


Anonymous said...

Balance. Did somebody say balance? I'm sorry, I have no idea what that is.

I suppose trying keeps us from going over the deepend...wait, maybe it brings us closer to the deepend. Honestly I can't be sure.

Erin said...

I understand this all too well. Sigh.

Kimberly said...

Oh my...I'm in the exact same headspace right now. Exact.

Anonymous said...


Graceful said...

This post rocks. That list double rocks!

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