As I was laying on my couch this weekend staring at a collage of pictures of my children I began thinking about how life started and how its turning out. When I was a little girl I always had a baby doll. I always wanted to be a momma. As I got a little older I always figured I would stay in my small town, get married and have babies. That’s what everyone does.

I have dreamed of being this mother that her kids would come running to with arms wide open. Being there for every first, making my children the center of my world and nothing less. I had dreams of living in big houses where I get to cook and bake and have people over, laugh and cuddle in front of the fire on cold nights and run in the sprinklers in the summer. A life right off the movie screen right?

I know some people have similar lives but what this dream really was – perfection. The idea of the perfect family, happy mother, loving hugs, children who are as wrapped in their mother as she is in them, a husband who lovingly provides for his family to have all of these things. Perfection………its not reality.

The reality of life is that I do have amazing children. They are extremely individual and different. Its amazing to me to think I helped to create all 3 of my children and they are so different. I see their similarities but they are definitely unique. We have shared so many good times and I know there are a LOT more of them coming.

The other realities is that life isn’t perfect. Movies are made to be enjoyed, you can’t have a good love story if everyone is yelling at each other and slamming doors and doesn’t cuddle. In life, there is as much friction as there is joy and happiness. Its part of what makes the world go round. I know and understand that this perfect life I always thought I would have, isn’t reality. The overall comforting thought of mom always there, happy times and laughs that is reality, its just not bundled with a cute little bow.

Every relationship whether its a parent and child, siblings, husband and wife, best friends, they all take the exact same amount of work. The problem is, who do you work on first? The reality is sometimes friendships slide to the back a little when another relationship is struggling like a marriage. The children and that relationship is extremely complex because not only are you their protector and friend, you are their rule maker. It is up to you to ensure that your children grow up with the values that are important in life, knowing how to treat people, how to communicate with others, how to express themselves without hurting other people, how to be successful in life and how to maneuver through all the pain this world is inevitably going to throw at them.

So when faced with who to work on first, its a choice. You can have dreams about how things work and you should but realize that your dreams are including the element of perfection which life doesn’t provide. So what is your reality? For me, this is the part where I create a balance as close as I can to being equal over time. Sometimes my children are going to take more from me than I think I can give. Sometimes my friendships really need to be on top for a bit, especially if these people are important to me. Sometimes my relationship with my parents is going to take a front seat. Overall, looking back, its the balance that is important.

If you are only in your marriage, everyone including you suffers. You can potentially lose yourself, your friendships, your closeness with your children. These relationships suffer at the expense of one. That is not balance. The same can be true for your children. If you wrap every second of every day into them, you don’t have time for someone special in your life, unless your friends do similar things with their kids that you do with yours you probably wont have many friends.

When you find that one relationship is smothering the others, its time to re-evaluate where you are and where balance lies. What can you do to change things? Without balance in life, in all that you do, you can get lost and in the end not know where you are or what to do about it. I’m deciding that lost is not where I want to be. I want life to be enjoyable with many things to look forward to, that way when the battles come, I can get through them knowing good happens too.

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