Is there an Elephant in your room?

balancing-act-elephant
Many years ago I was given this picture in the form of a big beautifully framed print.  It lived in my lounge room until one day one of my children, not mentioning names Amy,  jumped on my couch,  lost her balance and somehow grabbed onto the frame.  The frame  came tumbling down onto the floor and while I was happy that Amy was not hurt in any way,  the glass smashed and somehow cut into the picture – it wasn’t fixable.   I made the decision to throw it out, and I hoped I would get to see this picture again some day.

Today was the day!

While I agree that it would be impossible to get an elephant to stand on a beach ball without busting it, and while I do understand that this picture had to be photo shopped together – I really don’t care.   It’s very significant to me.   My big framed picture had a specific caption under the photo of the elephant balancing on the beach ball.   It said ‘Life . It’s all about balance’.

UnknownBalance is what I am trying to achieve in my life.  Balance is finding happiness in the simple things, enjoying what we have, and enjoying the people who are in our lives.  Balance is something many people strive for, and what most people have issue with.    Balance is about finding that sweet spot in life – circumstances may not be perfect, but the soul is content.

As you can imagine, four children can be the cause of much chaos in any home.  Having a family of four children is rather difficult at times.  If you are reading this and have more than four – I am in awe of you!  Kudos!  Four is definitely my limit.  On the occassion, I feel that four is too big a number, but lets face it – I wouldn’t have it any other way.   Each one of my children brings me more joy than words can even express, and I quickly remind myself that my grandparents had nine children.  One can only imagine the shenanigans in that household!?

What I have learned is that discipline and expectation are two aspects that need to be held highly in any household, as they help bring a sense of balance in the home.  Kids need unmovable boundaries and they need a mum who is not just physically available to them, but also emotionally available to them.

How can a mum be the best mum she can be?    I am a true believer that every mum needs to look after the woman that she is first and foremost.  How can a woman be a great mum if she has given up on herself?   At the end of the day – women are human beings and human beings have needs.    We have to take care of ourselves, and I don’t just mean going to get our eyebrows reshaped, I mean going out with friends, making time to exercise and taking up a hobby.   Taking care of ourselves is about giving ourselves time to be who we are meant to be!

This morning I opened my email and I found an email from Entreprenuer Dani Johnson.  I subscribed to her email list a long time ago, and her question for this morning asked ‘Is there was an elephant sitting on your chest?’   While I wouldn’t say a literal elephant is sitting on my chest – I have to say that many of my beliefs at the moment are being challenged.

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When I got married, I had this belief that when I became a mother – I was going to be a stay at home mum.   I had two feet firmly placed on the stay at home mother side of the fence.   My mum was a stay at home mother, and then when she remarried she became a family day care provider for school aged children – after school care.    She started this as I was going into grade seven, and over the years we had a multitude of children through our home.   Sometimes it was great and other times not so great – but at the end of the day mum was around for us when we got home from school.   There was an element of flexibility and she was able to work from home.   She was a work at home mother before it was cool to be a WAHM.  🙂

I am fortunate to have married someone who wanted me to be happy, and also shared the idea that having a parent stay home with the children was an important aspect to our lives as a family.  Hubby’s mum was a stay at home parent when her children were young, and for me I felt that the decision to be a stay at home mum was a natural path to take.    At different times I have felt pressure to get work but  felt that I could only get a job where the kids were still my absolute priority.   Jobs such as this are really quite difficult to find.

What I know is this.   If a situation no longer works for you or your family – change is a must.    Change however doesn’t necessarily mean that your belief system has to be entirely thrown out the window.  I am reminded of that phrase ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’.    Sometimes changing a situation means you look at your situation or your challenge and you make some changes.   Get serious about solving the problem.  Many people whinge about not having their desired life – but aren’t prepared to make changes.   I am not one of those people….I am someone who believes that all problems have solutions – you just have to work at finding the solution that works best for you and your family.

Becoming the stay at home parent has meant that I have learned how to live without the bells and whistles.  We grew up without bells and whistles so I am quite accustomed to not having all the luxuries in life.   Feeling rich has nothing to do with financial wealth.   Feeling rich,  is more about knowing you can meet the needs of your family, pay your bills, have coffee at least once a week with friends, and have food for your family.    Living on the Sunshine Coast brings a sense of ‘feeling wealthy’ as it is a luxury to live close to the beach.    Life is about perception and perspective rather than what you have.

While I still feel quite passionate about my role as a mum, we are challenged as a family to afford the extra opportunities we would like to give our  kids.     So my personal challenge is to find a way that I can help financially – but in a way that I don’t need after school care.  Ideally I can work from home – doing something I love – around the kids.

So I have a plan.

The question should be – What do I love doing?    Well I’ll tell you –  I love writing, social media and marketing.   If I can do all these things from home in a relaxed and happy atmosphere while the kids are at school – and I can help out with some of those expenses we would love to give to the kids – I will have exactly what I want.    I’ll be a happy mum.  Actually, I’ll be a better balanced and happy mum!   I’ll feel like I have the best of both worlds.

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