I feel like we're pretty good at balance. I want to be doing more crafts, but I already know the first year with a baby is pretty much focused on that baby. Jeremy & I might need to schedule a Date Night once a month. But right now, at 6 mo, Livy screams for me at bedtime. And she hasn't done a bottle yet, so she'd come with us.
Some of the tips to maintain balance that I use to measure balance include
- Take time for yourself: I'm reading at least one book every month. When things get really off kilter, Jeremy watches the kids so I can have a couple hours alone. Last time, I got a mani/pedi.
- Eat healthy foods: We are really trying to eat healthy meals and snacks. Less processed food and less sugar.
- Exercise regularly: We are both on training plans for various races, and we're supportive of getting the other person out the door (or on the trainer/treadmill) to get the workouts in. It just happened to me the other day: I was crabby and having a rough morning. So instead of steaming around for the whole day, I got on the treadmill as soon as Livy laid down for her first nap. Getting that short run in really helped me feel better the rest of the day.
- Take naps: When this happens, it's late afternoon. I'll sit down on the couch to nurse Livy and wake up when Jeremy walks in the door.
- Take care of yourself: I make sure to take a shower, put on make up, and do my hair every day.
- Avoid over-scheduling: So far, the kids are just in swimming. And we have small group.
- Get out of the house: This is harder in the winter, especially with the new baby, but we at least get out to swimming every week. And the Eden Prairie mall. And we're trying to schedule some play dates for the next couple weeks.
- Make realistic goals: (have realistic expectations) I think having realistic expectations for yourself and your kids and your spouse is vital to family balance. Figure out what you can realistically do in one day and don't try to do more than that.
I'm not sure how Jeremy feels about our family balance. Maybe he'll comment here and tell me :)