Is there anything that moms can’t do? Seriously. It’s a legitimate question. I’ve seen moms serve as CEOs of both Fortune 500 companies as well as their own homes, be able to feed and clothe her entire family just from the items contained in her purse, and make endless sacrifices for the good of her child. Clearly, there is no limit to what moms can accomplish…except when it comes to perfection.
You see, society has created so much pressure that no matter what we do, we are always failing at something. And you know what? That’s okay. Because you, dear mom, don’t need to be perfect. You might focus on those extra 15 pounds around your waistline that you just can’t manage to work off post-kids, but your kids only notice the warm comfort of your body when they come to you for a much needed cuddle. You might feel pains of guilt when you see another mom create a completely organic, “Under the Sea” inspired Bento Box for her kids on a daily basis while you utilize the school lunch program. WHO CARES? As long as your kid is happy and healthy, absolutely NO ONE should.
There are bigger fish to fry, people. But sometimes it is very difficult to prioritize and navigate through the noise to focus on what truly matters. That’s why I’m so glad that the “mom balance” movement is getting so much attention. Writers like myself are sharing their thoughts on how to handle it all. Don’t let this be confused with the “Super Woman” idea…because let’s face it..it’s impossible to be an Amazonian princess who sports a truth seeking golden lasso on her hip all while flying an invisible jet and wearing an obnoxiously small costume.
You see…it’s all about prioritizing so you can find BALANCE. And there are so many great books out there to help inspire and guide you on your journey to find much needed mom balance. To be clear, I’m not saying that you should follow any of these books to the letter. Instead, take their ideas and apply them to your personality, wants, and needs to create your own mom balance mantra.
I’ve read a ton of books on the subject so you don’t have to (you’re welcome), and here are what I feel are the best books for finding mom balance:
Emily Ley—“Grace, Not Perfection”
Although there are some religious overtones throughout the book (usually not my forte), Ley’s book really resonated with me because of how REAL she was about her shortcomings. Typically authors like to brag all about their successes (something Emily could definitely do since she has the most amazing planners and paper products on the planet!) but instead, her words were honest and refreshing. Her book focuses on giving “Grace” to yourself, your people, and your calling. Ley provides strategies for focusing on the simple things that bring you joy and how to make those a priority for you. I especially enjoyed all of the journaling prompts throughout the book so that you could connect the book’s core topics to your life WHILE READING. Such a simple yet streamlined way to truly digest a book so it can make a positive impact on your day to day life.
Laura Vanderkam—“I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time”
This book is a must read for working moms who struggle with the finding time for everything. Vanderkam doesn’t necessarily provide you with a template of how to structure your day, but she introduced me to a time management secret: keeping and reviewing a daily log. Basically, I kept track of everything I did in 30 minute increments for two weeks. After the two weeks were over, I was able to notice pockets of time that were being wasted and which times of day were most effective for me. A little restructuring and BOOM! I know feel less stressed and strapped for time because I not only looked at what worked for me, but I also learned from the countless logs from other moms that were highlighted in Vanderkam’s book. This book undoubtedly shares a gold mine of time saving tips and tricks from moms in all different situations from all different walks of life.
Genevieve Shaw Brown—“The Happiest Mommy You Know”
This is the book that my heart needed. I have struggled so much with putting myself on the back burner and feeling pangs of guilt every time I tried to make myself a priority. Brown showed me that I was not alone. Her honest account of motherhood and how she slowly learned to care for herself with the same amount of love and attention she raised her children with encouraged me in ways that no other book ever has. Each chapter focuses on a specific area that most moms need to work on—eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, investing in personal relationship—and how moms can improve in these areas with minimal effort. Yes, that’s right, MINIMAL effort. Because as I have said before, none of us are Super Woman.
These three books have been game changers for me on my journey to find mom balance. What are some of your favorite books to support your tired and weary soul? I’d love to have some recommendations for my “must read” list.