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The Secret to Balance Is That It Might Not Exist

Written By: Lauren Howard

Sometimes, I give my kids way more screen time than I should because the iPad is as good as a babysitter, and I need to get things done.

Sometimes, I give them Lucky Charms for breakfast fully knowing that they’re only going to eat the marshmallows even though they promise to eat all of it.

Sometimes, I order pizza for dinner because even pushing buttons on the oven is way too much work for my tired hands.

Sometimes, I don’t respond when they whine and argue with each other because nothing is burning down.

Sometimes, I don’t correct them when they’re sassy and traditionally disrespectful because I LIKE sassy and traditionally disrespectful.

Every time, I stop what I’m doing when they need me. Like, actually need me.

Every time, I feel guilty leaving them with childcare.

Every time, my heart breaks a little when one of them says “No mom stay!” when I’m juggling too many things.

Every time, I worry about their social skills and their learning curve and their lack of exposure to structure due to the pandemic, even though they’re perfectly happy.

Every time I see them, I tell them I love them, even if I just saw them five minutes before. (Sometimes we just sign it across the room.)

Every time they do something funny, I laugh—even when I shouldn’t.

I am nowhere near the realm of perfect. Not even in the same universe. I have no proof that I'm doing any of this right, and the mistakes are, well, constant.

But I try to be the working mom they need every day because they will remember the days we laid in bed longer watching Bluey or the times when I broke the rules to make them smile or when I showed them the value of hard work.

And if their brains are rotten because of the screen time, we’ll save a little on college. Shrug. (THIS IS A JOKE. RELAX.)

I haven’t found balance yet, but I’m working on it. I think the secret is that it might not exist. If the scales tip toward loving them too much and forgetting the rest of the rules, I’m fine with that.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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