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    Aspiring Towards Libra

    Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Centered, Finding Balance

    This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they stay centered and find balance. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


    I’m a Libra. Which MEANS that I (my life) should look a bit like this:

    (doesn’t she look so peaceful?)

    Yet, more often, I (my life) actually look(s) a bit more like this:

    (sure, he looks balanced now, but we all know what happens on the next page…)

    Some things, I am: An attachment parent to two children. A wife. A writer. A web content manager. An artist. A vegetarian.

    Some things, I do, and through these actions, become part of who I am: Swim lesson and school chauffer. A housekeeper. A booboo healer. A cook. A provider of spiritual guidance and daily reassurance. A finder of lost things. A practitioner and teacher of natural living. A mediator of arguments. A photographer. An inventor of games. A meal planner. A day planner. A life skills teacher. A middle-of-the-night glass of water getter and nightmare soother. A student of patience, discipline techniques, and tolerance for goofy behavior and misbehavior.

    Mostly, I do and am, all of these things, on a daily basis; primarily because they are necessary for myself, and everyone involved in my immediate life, to be happy, productive, and healthy: The children need loved, cared for, taught, comforted, protected, chauffeured, and guided. The house needs cleaned. The meals need prepared. The clothes, washed. The paid work, worked.

    But, I’m also a gardener, a blog writer, a book reader, a mountain hiker, a yoga practioner, a traveler, a movie watcher, an art maker. These things are soul fillers. Yet somehow, as important as they are, they don’t seem to find their way into my days as often or as routinely as I’d like; probably because the necessity of these things to everyone else’s livelihood is negligible. These things are just my things… they become filed away as non-necessities, and so, I can safely ignore them. At least, that’s how the practical side of my brain rationalizes it.

    Right now, I’ve entered the busiest time of year for me. Our business surges in the 4th quarter; so my husband and I work crazy days and long nights. The children are back in school, in lessons, and friends. I find some of the things which typically take precedence, out of necessity – like keeping the house clean – fall somewhat by the wayside (hey, I keep the clothes clean, but don’t expect the laundry to be folded), and those things which don’t often make an appearance – like travel, art making, book reading – usually end up disappearing entirely the following January. And yet, the emotional side of my brain tells me perhaps I’d be better able to balance on the ball with all of those things in the air, if I’d allow more of those soul soothers to take precedence – precisely at the time when I most likely to push them aside. The more I get to refill my tank with non-necessities, the more likely I am to be able to tackle the daily necessary tasks.

    So, for myself, I’m going to try this last part of the year to be more balanced; to incorporate more non-necessities in with my necessities. I’m aspiring towards being more of a Libra. Because the happier, more peacefeul, more balanced mama feels, the better of a mama I can be.


    Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

    Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

    (This list will be updated October 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Balance — Sheila at A Gift Universe has put her baby first — and has no regrets. (@agiftuniverse)
  • A Moment for Mama — Starr at Earth Mama has learned how to recharge on the run, so she doesn't miss a moment with her children.
  • Take a 30-Minute or 5-Minute Me-Break — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses the merits of taking small daily breaks to maintain balance. (@DebChitwood)
  • Achieving Balance — In a guest post at the new Natural Parents Network, Heather explains how yoga has helped her find balance in her personal and family life. (@NatParNet)
  • A Stitch in (Quiet) Time Saves Momma’s Mind — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma didn't realize she needed "me" time — until she got it and had no idea what to do with herself. (@kitchenwitch)
  • Attachment Parenting and Balance — Michelle at The Parent Vortex believes that the last item on the "attachment parenting" list is both the most important and the most overlooked. (@TheParentVortex)
  • Little Breaks Bring a Little Balance — Jen at Grow with Graces finds balance - some days! (@growwithgraces)
  • Finding Balance — Are you a Type A mama? Dionna at Code Name: Mama is, and she needs your help to find balance. (@CodeNameMama)
  • (high)Centered — Stefanie at Very, Very Fine has had a spa gift certificate sitting on her nightstand since last year, a symbol of her inability to take time for herself.
  • Taking Time for Me — Marita at Stuff With Thing takes refuge in the world of books, with her daughters immersed in reading beside her. (@leechbabe)
  • Writing as a parent: October Carnival of Natural Parenting — Lauren at Hobo Mama didn't let parenting put her passions on hold. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • The Dance of Balance — Balance isn't static. It is dynamic, it is a dance, it is about keeping in touch with you. Read this wonderful bit of wisdom from Seonaid at the Practical Dilettante. (@seonaid_lee)
  • Rest Hour - a Primer — Do you get 15 minutes to yourself each day? How about an hour?! Mrs. H. at Fleeting Moments shares her tips on how to incorporate a "rest hour" for adults and kids.
  • Separation Is Critical — Only through enforced separation with the end of her marriage did Jessica at This is Worthwhile realize she should have taken time apart all along. (@tisworthwhile)
  • Bread, Roses, and a Side of Guilt. — Betsy at Honest 2 Betsy isn't ashamed to admit that she enjoys a pint once in awhile, or that her daughter recreates it during pretend play.
  • The World from Within My Arms — Rachael at The Variegated Life finds balance despite her work and her husband's commitment to art through attachment parenting. (@RachaelNevins)
  • Balancing the Teeter-Totter — Rebecca is rediscovering balance by exploring her interests and passions in several different categories. She shares in this guest post at The Connected Mom. (@theconnectedmom)
  • Balancing this Life — Danielle at born.in.japan is slowly learning the little tricks that make her family life more balanced. (@borninjp)
  • Uninterrupted Parenting — Amy at Innate Wholeness has learned that she does not need to interrupt parenting in order to find balance.
  • Knitting for My Family — Knitting is more than just a hobby for Kellie at Our Mindful Life, it is her creative and mental outlet, it has blessed her with friendships she might not otherwise have had, and it provides her with much-needed balance.
  • Taking the Time — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker has all the time she needs, now her girls are just a bit older.
  • Please, Teach Me How — Amy at Anktangle needs your help: please share how you find time for yourself, because she is struggling. (@anktangle)
  • A Pendulum Swings Both Ways — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment found herself snapping with too little time for herself, and then veered toward too much.
  • Finding Balance Amidst Change — It took a season of big changes and added responsibility, but Melodie of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! now feels more balanced and organized as a mama than ever before. (@bfmom)
  • At Home with Three Young Children: The Search for Balance, Staying Sane — With three young kids, Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings knows parents sometimes have to adjust their expectations of how much downtime they can reasonably have. (@sunfrog)
  • Attachment Parenting? And finding some "Me Time" — As a mother who works full time, Momma Jorje wants "me" time that includes her daughter.
  • A Balancing Act — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes has concrete ways to help keep centered with a little one and a new baby on the way, from exercise to early bedtimes to asking for help. (@sheryljesin)
  • Aspiring Towards Libra — Are your soul-filling activities the first to be pushed aside when life gets hectic? Kelly of KellyNaturally.com aspires to make time for those "non-necessities" this year. (@kellynaturally)
  • SARKisms for Sanity — Erica at ChildOrganics has found renewed inspiration to take baths and laugh often from a book she had on the shelf. (@childorganics)
  • Posted: Oct 12 2010, 00:00 by kelly | Comments (12) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Peaceful Parenting


    Melodie Canada said:

    MelodieIt's amazing when you put it all down what kinds of jobs we have, what things we do and who we are. It almost seems an impossible takes to balance them all, and yet, everyday, women around the word manage to do all of these things. It makes me proud (yet tired!) to be one of them.

    # October 12 2010, 00:35

    Dionna @ Code Name: Mama United States said:

    Dionna @ Code Name: MamaI completely agree - the times we are most stressed out and busy are when balancing activities are needed most! Right now I've been feeling completely overwhelmed with life, but last week I took time out to spend a few days with my visiting sister and 9 month old nephew. What a breath of fresh air!! Yes, I felt stressed when they left (so many things yet to do!), but I can't imagine what I would have felt like without the break. Wishing you a productive - and balanced - busy season :)

    # October 12 2010, 00:36

    Lauren @ Hobo Mama United States said:

    Lauren @ Hobo MamaWhat a great perspective! I do understand the necessity of crunch times (we also run a retail business, so I do understand those holiday seasons!), when you have to buckle down and get done only what's urgent — but too much of it leaves me jittery and feeling soulless. I wish you moments of peace and time to follow your passions this quarter.

    # October 12 2010, 04:31

    Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now United States said:

    Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori NowI’m a Libra, too! And I can definitely understand how life can look more like the Cat in the Hat than the balanced, peaceful life we’d like (loved the two opposing images)! I think life has gotten faster paced, which makes it all the harder to find balance. But I think the approach you’re taking in actively seeking it will make it much more achievable.

    # October 12 2010, 08:53

    Seonaid Canada said:

    SeonaidThat image is just wonderful. People used to ask me, "How do you do it all?" And I would tell them that it was a lot like juggling... if I thought about it too much, things started falling. It was exhausting, though! OK in the short term and/or crunch, but no way to live.

    One thing that has been very helpful for me in introducing my own soul-support into my day is this idea in meditation: we are doing it so that we are dealing with ourselves, so that it doesn't become somebody else's problem. But it's a hard idea to hang on to when we have been raised, oh, however it is we've been raised that makes us think that things like showers, full meals, and going to the bathroom are luxuries. I think that these *are* necessities. We've just been taught to turn away from them when we need them most.

    # October 12 2010, 13:01

    Kat Canada said:

    KatWow when you listed all the things us moms do, it's quite the undertaking! I totally agree with you about prioritizing and letting some things go when they need to be let go! After all no one is going to suffer if they get their clean clothes from the basket rather than the drawer.

    # October 12 2010, 13:27

    Amber Canada said:

    AmberRe-fueling your own tank really is so important. It's when I forget to do this that everything really falls apart. But it can be hard to make time, when life gets away from you.

    # October 12 2010, 16:13

    MrsH United States said:

    MrsHThose images just say it all.  Giving yourself permission to call some of those things "necessities" seems like a critical first step towards actually making time to do them.  All the best!

    # October 12 2010, 20:45

    Danielle United States said:

    DanielleGood luck keeping balance this Fall Quarter. One thing I think is key is taking advantage of the 5 to 10 minute chunks of time that we so often get as parents. 5 minutes in the car while waiting for the kids can be spent reading a book. 10 minutes in the kitchen while the pasta sauce simmers can be spent sketching. Look for little pockets of time to fit in those things that feed your soul rather than waiting or hoping for a large block. You'll be amazed at what those little chunks can do for you!

    # October 13 2010, 21:50

    Betsy Canada said:

    BetsyI'm a Libra as well but everytime I read a description I think, dear gawd that's so not me. I'm rather prone to excess. I guess everyone is. When we have space, we fill it. When we run out of space, we juggle. We forget to check the other side of those scales.

    Great imagery, Kelly. And good advice.

    # October 13 2010, 23:25

    Rachael @ The Variegated Life United States said:

    Rachael @ The Variegated LifeI very much hope (if you are able) that you do a follow-up post on how you manage to incorporate non-necessities at this busy time. It's so, so hard, but don't the non-necessities help us take care of the necessities?

    # October 16 2010, 11:52

    growwithgraces.tela.com said:

    pingbackPingback from growwithgraces.tela.com

    Little breaks bring a little balance | GROW WITH GRACES

    # October 14 2011, 14:53

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