They say that too much of anything is not a good thing. Well maybe except for baby scent. But I will be honest - I find it impossible to find any extra energy within me to do or talk any further kid-related thing outside the 25 hours a day I spend with my kids at home, paired with limited adult conversation. In fact, in the few adult conversations that I do get, I would rather steer clear of topics related to child-rearing. Let’s talk about the world instead, or literature, or our life goals, or even about the new nasi kandar shop that just opened down the neighbourhood. Just talking about something else other than our own kids can be liberating after spending all of our time with them.
And I find all these pretty bewildering at times, considering that I used to manage my venture Littlest Hands, mingling with kids at all those art workshops and finding enjoyment in them. But this change is something I acknowledge & have gratefully accepted. Perhaps this change, and the uncomfortable feelings of ambivalence that surface every now and then are simply Allah’s way of reminding me to find that balance again. And not just balance between kid-time and adult-time, but balance as a whole.
The reality of a stay-at-home-mom or work-at-home-mom spending 24 hours a day with the kids most days though, or even the reality of working mothers needing to spend dawn to dusk at work & only getting bite-sized chunks of time with the kids at night, may make it seem impossible to find the ideal ‘balance’. But only if we look at it that way.
Because maybe balance does not mean our hours being divided equally into the things that fulfil us. I have learned that maybe balance means seventeen hours of attending to the kids while wearily singing to nursery rhymes, a rushed fifteen minutes of reading a good book to feed our own passion, thirty minutes of home workout in between changing diapers as a form of self-care, but LIFE-SIZE lessons of patience, love, gratitude, creativity and what have you. These lessons by Allah SWT will always surpass the imbalances that we see.
And then of course, balance also means struggling here for His sake and reaping the rewards later inshaaAllah.
While it’s still essential to take care of ourselves here, I pray that Allah SWT will continue to guide us in seeking moderation and seeing the ‘balance’ that He has bestowed upon us.
“Do not recite too loudly in your prayer nor too softly, but seek a way between them.”