Can we really have it all?
Buump Active speaks to habit coach Mim Jenkison about achieving balance
Have you ever heard the phrase “having it all”? Growing up over the last decade or two, the concept of having it all has been something that has become a goal for many mums.
In reality, however, holding down a job and juggling this with children, a social life, looking after parents and having a spotless show home-style house can leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, rather than empowered and happy.
Buump Active caught up with Mim Jenkinson, Aussie-Brit coach, blogger and author, on the subject of balance…
“There’s a misconception that plays out on social media daily that living a balanced life means you have it all” says Mim. “You’re the perfect parent, the super-organised woman, the goal hitter and the social butterfly.
“If anything though, our lives are getting busier each day and something has to give. Sometimes, all of it. It just isn’t possible to have everything, to be everywhere, to be with everyone.”
What balance really is
“Balance isn’t the middle ground between ‘busy’ and ‘bored’” Mim continues. “And you’re unlikely to sit back one day and bask in the knowledge that everything in your life has neatly fallen into place and you have IT ALL.
“The definition of what ‘balance’ is has changed. And I do think that finding balance is possible if you’re more realistic about what that means to you now.”
Balance, not perfection
“As mums, we need to look for balance, not perfection. I’m not suggesting that you lower your expectations to the point where finding balance is meaningless and you’re essentially achieving nothing.
“We need to ask ourselves; what do we ultimately want to achieve in our lives? What’s important to us? Is it spending quality time with your family, doing a good job at work, taking time out with friends, meditating, pursuing a hobby? Us mums can make headway with all of those things. Just not at the same time.”
Take a reality check and figure out what’s important
“If you’re basing your idea of balance today on the life you lived pre-children, it’s just never going to measure up” says Mim.
“We need to ask ourselves; what’s important to us now? Is it focusing on one of two areas of our lives that are the most important? Or is it being present most of the time for most of the things? Perhaps for you, balance is less about actively seeking it out and planning for it and simply being more mindful of the moments where it’s already there.
“When you’ve set some more defined goals on the woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, boss or colleague you want to be, you can start to break down how you’ll set about getting there. Set realistic goals and work out how you’ll measure your success with them.”
Here are Mim’s three tips for success.
“When you’re doing something, try to focus on that one thing. It’s all too easy as busy people to let our mind wander to the task we’re doing next, or the next place we need to be, or all of the things we might be doing instead of what we’re actually doing right now.
“If you’ve made the decision to spend some of your precious time on something, give it the best you can to be there, be present, be in the moment.
“When you do move on to the next place, the next person, the next task, be there. Not in the past, not in the future.”
A little bit of everything is better than a lot of nothing
“Work out what your priorities are and find your own path to reaching them, bit by bit. Because if you’re waiting for the day when you ‘have it all’, you’ll be waiting forever.
“There’s nothing wrong with being good enough. Shift how you’re defining ‘balance’. I’m not saying to make it easy, but make it important. Stop measuring your achievements now against the successes of your past.”
Appreciate yourself and what you do
“Pat yourself on the back, appreciate yourself, and be grateful for what you have and what you’re already doing well.
“And yes, you can certainly be inspired by how others are doing things, being more organised, setting goals etc – but bring it back to you, your actual life and the tools you have at your disposal. Not everyone is the same, we are all living different lives with very different circumstances.
“Our lives are changing each day and our individual, family and work needs are shifting constantly. We need to continuously reassess to find out what our biggest priorities are and find ways, routines and plans to help us reach them that doesn’t result in us entirely sacrificing everything else. Simply shift the balance to find your feet again.”
Mim runs monthly digital coaching sessions to help mums find balance and crack those habits that lead to success. Find out more here.