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May 21, 2013

Finding Balance Between Preparation and Living in the Moment

Finding Balance Between Preparation and Living in the Moment
Finding balance is often hard. I feel like my teeter totter is always at one end or the other, never pausing in the middle. As a mother I feel like I go to extremes. I want to enjoy every moment with my beautiful babies as they are growing quickly and as the days pass I am acutely aware that they will never come back. But with that I know I need to prepare myself and the loves of my life to grow and mature safely and successfully.

How do we achieve the best of both worlds? I have found recently that in my moments of detailed preparation in the future I miss some little things that in the big picture are quite pivotal. I have to devise a plan to do both without sacrificing either.

Living in the Moment
I am going to assume that I am far from alone in the sense that when attempting to be organized with future plans I don't want to be bothered. Not that I would ever allow this to take a toll on my relationship with my kids, but I try to set them up with a movie, a game or something of the sort while I work on my budget, my blog or any other thing that is considered responsible.
Unfortunately, I am not perfect and "hold on a minute" is a fairly regular phrase in my house. At night when I reflect on my day I often wonder what I missed while my precious gifts were begging for my attention. By that time it is too late, the moment will never come again.
Where I am torn is that if I stop what I am doing every time one of my kids says "mom," I will surely never get anything accomplished. But if I tell them to hold on every time I am in the middle of something, I am absolutely missing things that could prove to be more important than the surface.

Preparing for the Future
What exactly am I preparing for? Everything! The future as we know is unpredictable. With that I do my best to prepare for any situation that could arise. Everything from emergency kits to college funds to potential job loss in our home. But that isn't all we worry about as parents.
Those are all long term worries that need our time. In the moment I prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. I get myself ready for having a sick baby or a winy daughter. I prepare for the upcoming school year by finding coupons to dress my girls in the best.
In all reality you can never be too prepared and parenthood comes with daily, monthly, yearly and lifelong planning. But while we are in the middle of planning we lose sight of what is happening RIGHT NOW.

The Balance
There is no question that I still need to put my focus on the major things that will provide our family with a security blanket. Things like tuition planning and moving my current credit card to a balance transfer credit card with 0% interest rates are always on my mind, but I also need to realize that when my child says "Mommy" 5 times in a row that I should take a break from looking into credit card rates and acknowledge that something is important to her. This is the balance we all struggle to find.
There are moments that these precious gifts are in school and asleep. While it's impossible to get everything done in those moments, I can do a big part of it. These are the times when I should ask myself, should I pay off debt or save money first? I need to spend more time living in the moment and sometimes when my daughter asks to go to the park we should just get up and go. Everything doesn't have to be planned. The truth is things don't always work out as planned. With that we might as well enjoy the moments.

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