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HERd Management: Finding balance when life is full

Contributed by Renée Norman-Kenny Published on 01 June 2020

Editor’s note: This blog is reprinted with permission from eat Farm Love.

For the past few months, I have been feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you would say unbalanced.

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I have struggled with finding balance in our day-to-day life. I am not sure if it is because of the quickly approaching summer season, where I know our lives get even busier, the to-do lists I have at the farm and in our home, the overflowing amount of bills piling up on my farm office desk, the dirty floors in our home, the two children who require lots of love and care (which I love doing most) or all of the extra work and projects I took on this year. Now, I love each and every one of these things, but I haven’t been “finding balance” that makes each of these components tolerable in my life.

When I would start feeling stressed, I immediately would remind myself of how blessed I am and how lucky I am to be living the life I am living and to have the family we have. I remind myself that while I hadn’t found the perfect balance to life, I had found our “balance.” It may mean a messier house, it may mean a little less time at the barn, and it may mean a little less sleep. But for me and this life, it’s our perfect balance.

However, I needed a bit more. I needed some ways to find balance to even our life out – to make it tolerable and to even out our days. I have implemented a few steps into each day that help me in “finding balance” to my schedule and my responsibilities.

Here are my five simple steps I started implementing to allow myself to find the balance I needed. I have been doing these for the last few weeks and they have helped me with balance (and to keep my sanity). I am not saying I have the answers – I don’t – but life has been a bit more routine with these steps I take to balance our life.

My five steps for finding balance:

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1. Prep work

I prep the kids’ clothes as I set them out the night before so that in the mornings everyone gets dressed quickly and easily. Preparing a weekly dinner list for the week of meals I can cook during the week has helped me too. (I don’t assign days because I can’t know what I will be hungry for each day.) I even prep my farm bills, so to speak, so on the day I have scheduled to enter and pay bills, I have them all ready to go.

2. Prioritize

At the beginning of each day, I make a list – mentally, on my phone or most often on paper – of my projects I need to get done for the day. I don’t always get them all done, but I do prioritize which needs done first. And when I don’t get them all done, I remind myself of my fifth step below. This also means prioritizing things such as one-on-one time with a child or maybe a date night with my husband. Those things matter too; make the time.

3. Set goals

I set goals for myself. I have 30-day, 90-day and one-year goals for my blog and for myself. These goals, both short-term and long-term, allow me to hold myself accountable. And I have someone lined up to help me stay accountable. That truly helps, too. I have my goals posted in my office by my desk so I can see them day in and day out. Next on my list is to update our farm goals.

4. Quiet time (Me time)

I have found taking a few minutes for myself each day is important. Sometimes it is a moment to read. Maybe it’s a quiet shower late at night. Maybe it’s the quiet time in my office between emails, phone calls and projects. While many people thrive on interaction, I need some quiet time for myself. It’s not saying I don’t require a friend’s support or conversation, because I do. However, I don’t get that often, as relationships have changed and I work alone from my home. So instead, I have found quiet time fuels my soul too. Yours may look different, and that’s OK; that’s good actually.

5. Grace

Remember, balance isn’t about figuring it all out, so give yourself a lot of grace while you figure it all out. And it is always going to be a work in progress.

Have you been struggling with finding balance? What makes you keep going and moving toward that ideal balance for you?  end mark

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Renée Norman-Kenny blogs at eatfarmlove.com and serves as the creative development lead for the
Dairy Girl Network.

Renée Norman-Kenny
  • Renée Norman-Kenny

  • Dairy Producer
  • Enon Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Email Renée Norman-Kenny

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