Grace Rizza, Christian, Mom, Wife, CEO
I stumbled upon this question while scrolling on social media recently. The post was made by an old friend, who is a hard working mom with a heart of gold.
I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to give an answer, but I do. I remember a time in my life when I couldn’t fathom waking up on feeling like I was rested enough to function. I remember barely being able to get to work without a moderate to severe level of anxiety, mostly caused by underlying, unknown people pleasing tendencies. I recall feeling like I never had enough time to make dinner, do the dishes, keep up with the laundry, take care of the kids and have any meaningful time with my husband. I remember questioning if this concept of achieving “balance” is even a realistic goal. The question in and of itself reminded me of my inadequacies, lack of support and the feeling of deeply needing a “break”.
Many parents can relate to the feeling of not having enough time. With each passing year of mom-life and business ownership, especially since the covid shut down, I’ve realized, we do have the time to find balance, but it requires us to make some very difficult changes, not just in our daily routine, but in our mind, thoughts, and way that we love ourselves and our families.
The Foundation of Mental and Physical Health
First of all, sleep deprivation isn’t healthy. It’ll lead to a slew of other issues. Coming from a mom of 2 little beautiful girls who didn’t enjoy sleeping at night, paired with extremely unpredictable Hashimoto’s disease, I know the struggle of deep, bone weakening fatigue. It’s a feeling that sucks the joy out of the precious moments and leaves you feeling like a useless carcass after you gave 100%, yet still felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your efforts. Before getting anything “right” in life, getting enough sleep is crucial. For most adults this is an uninterrupted 6-9 hours per night, depending on your individual needs.
The Missing Puzzle Piece
Another foundational part of a healthy life is purpose. Vocational purpose is discussed at great length, as well as the purpose to contribute to your family. However, few people openly discuss their faith and the BIG purpose of their lives. When we have clarity on our mission here, or the reason for our soul’s journey on this earth (beyond superficial things like ego, excess financial gain, and well, everything material), we begin to live differently. Once made clear, we only begin to live in the moment. This is where fulfillment starts and the desperation that accompanies a life without true purpose begins to subside.
The Big Deceit
Control is deceitful. We think falsities such as, “If only I could lose 10 pounds then I’d be happy,” or “When my kids are sleeping through the night, I’ll be happy,” or “If only I could get a promotion and just make a little more money, I’d be happy.” These “I’ll be happy when” phrases lead us further from the present, our purpose and true self love and acceptance and closer to a living a life where we chase what’s already right in front of us. So many Americans get so caught up in “finding balance” that they miss the point, the purpose and before they know it, they simply want to slow down and rewind time, but they cannot.
Letting Go of Approval Seeking
While we’re tangled in the pursuit of control, we often get hooked on the approval of others, without even realizing it. We convince ourselves to believe that since we’ve gotten in shape, or earned that promotion or married the man / woman of our dreams, that we no longer seek the approval of others, but we do. It comes out in tiny ways, CONSTANTLY. We get upset for not being included or invited to an event or group. We get upset by the mistakes we’ve made at work that upset a coworker, boss or client. We live in fear and stress while facing a difficult conversation. We live for the approval of others, instead of focusing on pleasing God.
I remember a time when my daughter was about 6 months old and I was growing my business. A family member questioned my decision to work while my young family was sprouting. She said, “Well if you get a day nanny and a night nanny, when will you see your kid?” I was so hurt and offended that I cried. I limited the support that I knew I needed, I justified my decisions to anyone that would listen. In hindsight, I should’ve smiled and thanked my family member for her concern. I should’ve told her that I’d prayed about it and I know that I was putting my tiny, innocent daughter’s needs first. I’d have welcomed this loving family member to my home more and judged her less. I’d have had a much more stable and loving response to the things that undeservingly occupied my mind, and borrowed what little energy I felt I had. Had I given my attention to God and consulted Him before reacting and acting, I’d have been rewarded with joy and clarity. I was blind to what mattered.
Perfectionism is Evil
There’s a little voice that creeps in every now and again. It doesn’t want you to think you’re deserving of love, progress and happiness. It wants you to believe that you’re not good enough for those around you. It will stunt your progress and hold you captive in self-doubt. It’s not from God, it’s from the enemy. In order to live in joy and light, we have to learn to pray, embrace God’s unconditional love for us and recognize and shut down the voice of the enemy. You are enough. The idea that balance is the key to happiness is a lie. Man (and woman) were created to work. Even Adam and Eve worked. God said we were to work and then rest (and worship and pray) on the seventh day. However in today’s day and age, we act like balance is the answer. We act like we should have equal time working, playing, resting and binge watching the negativity that is most streaming entertainment.
What is Balance?
When you think about the word “balance” you think of equal parts. You may imagine a scale that’s got “family” on one end and “work” on the other. You may try to organize and control your life into equal parts, with the false belief that once you have accomplished this completely unrealistic feat, that you’ll finally be fulfilled. Yes, balance exists, but not in equal parts.
What is Balance Really?
Balance for me occurs when I’m not thinking about “finding balance.” It’s the confidence and self love that comes from knowing that my family, work responsibilities and health are all receiving the attention they need. It’s the feeling that I’m growing closer to God by keeping his teachings close to my heart and each day growing more patient, kind, hardworking, gentle, honest, dependable, GOOD. Balance is the feeling that my work has purpose beyond selfish motivations. It’s an attainable state that is fulfilling, and only comes by taking myself out of the center and making God’s will my focal point.
Balance is quite simple these days.