Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.

Aug

10th

good life – by selena sorensen

 

Cultivating a good life is not stressing about finding the perfect balance but realizing I am good enough. 

When contemplating about what I should write, my thoughts went directly to my current and constant struggle—balancing my life. I am a full-time mommy and wife with a growing photography business. Each week I go over all the tasks that must get accomplished, and I become instantly overwhelmed. I just can’t do it all. I am not superhuman. And due to my inability to find this perfect balance, stress often becomes my constant companion. Fortunately, I recently came to the conclusion that the perfect balance doesn’t exist and I just need to face the fact that sometimes I just don’t have enough time in the day to do it all.

I constantly hear about trying to find the right balance between jobs, home life, spirituality, relationships, social time, alone time, cleaning, nurturing, love, nutrition, exercise, service, family, friends, and the list goes on. Since I’ve had children, I have been fighting this persistent battle of balance that usually ends in a tragic defeat where I am left discouraged and frustrated.

I am constantly bombarded by Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram feeds with seemingly perfect and balanced lifestyles. Messages like, “Heading to the gym,” “Just cleaned the whole house tonight,” “Look at this delicious AND healthy meal I just made for my family,” creates these unrealistic expectations. And sometimes when I see these messages, it just makes me feel fat, messy, unhealthy, and overall just not good enough. It gives me these high expectations of myself that I know I can never fully achieve.

I can admit I am not an organized person by nature, so achieving this perfect balance in my life seems nearly impossible. Something is always falling short. Something is always lacking. My husband comes home from work and looks around the house in utter terror wondering what I have done all day long and why I look like a homely troll.

Little did he know that my day consisted of waking up to a potty-training toddler who had an accident in her bed, a teething baby with a fever, spending the day kissing “owes,” changing diapers, playing “tea party,” feeding the baby, dealing with tantrums, recovering from a meltdown, arguing with siblings, getting spit up on, and cleaning up a few more potty-training accidents! And the only thing I ate was a few leftover pizza rolls the kids didn’t eat for lunch. How in the world am I going to lose that extra 30 pounds, keep the house spotless, or hang out with that long lost friend if I can’t even make time to eat or shower? Some days it’s just not possible.

Luckily, I now understand that. I finally snapped out of this senseless stupor. I’ve come to realize that everyone has good and bad days. I may not be a perfect person, but I am slowly recognizing that I have the perfect life. My disorganized home is filled with laughter and cheerful, smiling kids with leftover food on their faces. I have a loving husband who is incredible with our kids and who will always help me when I need him. My messy home radiates love.

We have food on the table, and even though it may not be a five-star meal I found off Pinterest, I am grateful. I still have that extra baby weight, but my children do not see a “fat” mom, but instead they will remember something much different. They will remember running around, having dance parties, and making cookies. They will remember a mom who spent time with them, not a mom who was consumed in attaining perfection or rushing around trying to complete that last task on her checklist.

There is a season for everything and right now mine is home with my kids doing the best I can. Taking one baby step at a time. Of course, we all have important things to do, but just remember to stop and breathe. Take it all in. Snuggle your loved ones. Eat a cookie (or two). Take a break from the busyness of life and live it. My children are only little for a brief moment. I am not going to waste this precious time achieving the perfect balance. But, instead, I am going to accept that I am good enough and choose to be happy.


Note from Becky

Raise your hand if you’re in a similar boat / frame of mind / stage of life as Selena? (My hand is raised.) Of course we’re not all the same and our life situations are all unique to one another, but so, so, so many of us can totally relate with Selena in that constant struggle for balance between so many roles. So thank you, Selena, for sharing your very real, very relatable thoughts.

Selena is a personal friend and I pretty much adore her. She is also a professional photographer who lives local to us, and our family had an awesome experience with her photographing our family. And we love her so much that we’ve even had her involved in helping with a big photography project we’ve had in the works (which you’ll hear more about in the coming month or two). Selena is completely delightful to have around and I’m super grateful she was willing to share a piece of her heart with us in today’s Good Life post.

Connect with Selena  ::  Website | Instagram | Facebook

COMMENTS

14 Responses

  1. LisaT. says:

    My hand is raised, too! Selena, recognizing that your most important role right now is wife and Mama makes you one smart cookie (or two)! Thanks for honestly sharing the season you are in right now. From a Mama of 4 who’s been there, survived and cherishes the memories <3

  2. Stephanie says:

    Selena and Becky, I simply adore you both. Selena, you make “disorganized” look good! Becky, you are an inspiration. Yea for amazing women who love and lift and make life better for everyone around them!

  3. laura g. says:

    loved your post!! very honest and very real!

  4. Amy Myers says:

    What a lovely reminder. I head back to my classroom this week facing meetings, carpet installation (because right when we return is the perfect time, right?), and the general craziness that comes with heading back to school. I needed to hear these words. I can’t do it all and trying to be perfect at school and at home is only going to make me crazy. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed this week, I’ll remember to step back and take a breath. Thanks. :)

  5. Karen says:

    Selena love your comments about Pinterst,etc. Social media has “raised” the standards of comparison. Glad you helped us see that these ” standards” are not the ones to achieve but the key ones are smiling kids, happy husband and a loving household. Thanks.

  6. Kelly says:

    I raise my hand and I don’t even have small children at home any more. I have always worked a “more than full-time” job and have struggled to have the balance of home life/work life. And I totally agree that social media has made so much of this unrealistic. What kind of expectations are we setting ourselves up for if we constantly feel like we need to measure up? I experience this first hand with my sister who seems to feel she needs to put her “perfect life” out on display on a daily basis via Facebook. It’s where she gets her validation from when everyone gives her wonderful comments. And I even find myself jealous sometimes, which isn’t a feeling I want to have for my sister. But I also realize the turmoil that goes on behind closed doors and that everything in her life is far from perfect. It makes me sad knowing she feels the pressure to live up to those expectations and put it out there even when it is such a one-sided story. Thanks for this reminder that this is such a struggle for so many people, including myself. I need to remind myself of that often.

  7. Nicole says:

    *Raising hand* I am with you 100%. It’s so hard to balance everything. I always have to remember how much extra help some people have that I don’t – that neighbor who is at every drop off/pick up, room mom for 2 classrooms at school, works as a marketing exec, has a spotless home, works out at the gym 3+ days per week, and looks fab every time I see her? Yea – four grandparents live super close to help with her kids, she has a housekeeper and a nanny, she has a lawn service, and she works part-time (3 days’ per week). So while it seems like she has it all, she has a village to help her. Since I don’t have that village, I need to lower my standards just a bit to what I can accomplish with working full time with a commute, one extra set of hands (and two more sets that are more into toy and home destruction than maintenance), and none of the hired help. I am realizing that what I am providing to my family is “good enough” because I value my family time more than dusting the blinds. Thank you for your honesty in your post. I find it inspiring.

  8. Brandie says:

    Raising my hand and saying THANK YOU!!! I needed this today!!!

  9. Desiree says:

    Welcome to life! You are in the same boat as everyone else. We all struggle and some more than others. No one has a perfect life, even if it looks that way on the outside. Your life is what you make of it so keep making it great.

    *Comparison is the thief of joy.*

  10. “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful” – that’s a quote I am seeing a LOT at the moment! Very few people have the “perfect” life, and those who seem to actually don’t think it’s all that perfect usually! If you have happy, healthy kids and a supportive marriage, you’re doing GREAT! Anything else is a bonus in my book. I have dreams of things I could achieve, but sometimes it’s best to just let it go and live in the moment. ounds like you are doing a fabulous job :)

  11. Angela says:

    Oh, I love this! I do feel the same way, and this was something I’ve recently thought about as I welcomed baby #3 into our family. I need to put my thoughts on paper, I’m realizing. Thank you for sharing, Selena (and Becky).

  12. Susanne says:

    I like your post. Don’t look on Pinterest and Facebook. Live your life and enjoy it. Many of the people who seams to be perfect on social media is not feeling well, they just need confirmation. Nice photo by the way.

  13. Ruly says:

    Hi Selena! Love your article… thanks for sharing and inspiring. I think we all need to look for balance… BUT this word is completely different for each one… your perfect balance today is your kids and family and this is awesome. Although I’m yet in the middle of my checklists with two works and one amazing toddler… I’m so trying to give him the quality time he needs from me… As you well mentioned this is the right time for me to be with him… and it makes soo happy every little second I’m with him. Thanks for encouraging me to keep it up and fight to give him the right space.
    A big virtual hug ;)

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