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Top mom answers on the struggle to juggle
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Navigating the constantly changing roles of woman, wife and mother is feat of the highest order. If youre not sure how to best go about it, youre in good company. Consider these questions and answers from women like you. - photo by Connie Sokol
Navigating the constantly changing roles of woman, wife and mother is feat of the highest order. If youre not sure how to best go about it, youre in good company. Consider these questions and answers from women like you.

Question #1: I feel like there isnt enough of me to go around. How do I effectively fill needs?

First, accept you cannot be all things to all people. We desire to fill others needs but then believe that filling them all is a requirement. To wit, one woman stated that she felt not like a stay-at-home-mom but a stay-in-the-car-mom. Explain to your children your desire and the reality. Then set healthy boundaries on what you can and cant do and share it in terms they can understand.

For example, if they need homework help: I can help you with your project if you prepare your part by Wednesday. Or Dad can help with math, and I can help with English.

Question #2: "How do I balance time and focus between being a wife and mother, especially in the evening?"

Make your family aware of the general schedule. Consider chatting with your spouse before dinner and the beginning of the evening phase, asking, How would you like to see the evening go?

Another ideal way to balance is to get input from your children and husband. Ask them one key way they like to be loved or given attention (and share yours!). Then share specific choices, i.e. We have 15 minutes together to talk about your Lego contraption, or finish homework."

Share clear needs with your husband. For example, in the book, "The Surrendered Wife" by author Laura Doyle, she shares an experience of a mother of young children who was spent at the end of the day. However, her husband wanted to connect with her. So she told him honestly she was exhausted and the kids still needed a snack, to be bathed and put down for the night. He said, in effect, Im on it. She took a nap and he got them taken care of, and they spent connecting time. Everyone was happy.

Question #3: "How do I balance the needs of one child over another, without neglecting each child's needs? And without feeling exhausted?"

Find two-fers. This means, choose activities that fill the needs of your child, you and get something done. Recently, my daughter and I wanted to spend mom and me time together, and she wanted to pursue working with animals. I found a place where she could volunteer which was a half hour each direction, and for a time block of two hours. So now she and I talk all the way there she spends time with animals, I spend that time writing and we talk all the way home. That might even be a three-fer.

Enjoy choosing an answer that fits for your needs at this stage of being a woman, wife and mother, and give it a try.
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