I decided to stop using “balance” to describe how I manage life as a grown-up. Partly because “balance” conjures up images of ledgers with lines of numbers—of addition and multiplication and other horribly boring-to-me things—and partly because it gives me the impression I should be holding all of this stuff.

I can’t hold it all.

I can’t weigh and measure and allocate time for each thing in some magical way where it all comes out even, where it zeroes out, where there is balance.

I could try, I could maybe even succeed briefly, but I’m no idiot—I know, even if I have it all up in the air perfectly balanced, it is just one strand of straw away from tumbling to the ground.

Maybe it’s the overachiever in me, maybe it’s semantics, but trying to find balance left me feeling awfully unbalanced.

So, I ditched the word for a different one—and now, I dance.

I’m homeschooling a precious and precocious kid; I’m an attorney; I’m a writer; I’m an artist; and I’m always adding to a miles-long list of creative projects. So, sometimes, I do the chicken dance.

I slow dance on low energy days. I crank it up to take advantage of high-energy hours. I grab some punch and sit down when I need a rest.

Sometimes I step on feet, or someone steps on mine. Sometimes I lose the steps, or forget the dance, or find myself in the middle of a dance I don’t know. But it’s OK because I’m not on a tight rope.

I don’t drop everything because I’m not holding it all up. I’m not holding it all up because it’s not mine to hold.

A misstep, or a forgotten one, or one I don’t know isn’t going to toss me off of a rope and send my life into a tailspin. Instead, it’s a fun opportunity to pick up a new move, to learn, to grow, to make me a better dancer.

I am not my own task master—I’m a dancer matching the rhythm of the music maker.

The world is not a tight rope—it’s my dance floor.

So if you ask me how I’m handling it all, I won’t tell you it’s a balance; I’ll say it’s a dance and I’m having a blast.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Stevie Swift

Stevie is a Jesus follower and single-mom to one crazy-awesome kid. She writes at www.stevieswift.com about being happily single, parenting, and Christianity. You can find her in the Pacific Northwest, putting pineapple on pizza and planning her next adventure, or on the interwebs with  FacebookInstagram, and  Twitter

“It Looks and Tastes Like Candy.” Mom Shares Warning about THC Gummies All Parents Need to Hear

In: Kids, Living, Teen
Hand holding bottle of THC gummies

What Aimee Larsen first thought was a stomach bug turned out to be something much more terrifying for her young son, Gunner. Gunner woke up one day last week seeming “lethargic, barely able to stand or speak,” his mom shared in a Facebook post. At first, she assumed he had a virus, but something about his behavior just didn’t seem right. She called an ambulance and asked her older sons if Gunner might have gotten into something, like cough syrup or another over-the-counter medicine. Their answer? “Yeah, THC gummies.” THC gummies are an edible form of cannabis that contain tetrahydrocannabinol,...

Keep Reading

I’m the Friend Who Flakes Out Sometimes—Thanks for Loving Me Anyway

In: Friendship, Living
Smiling women with arms around each other

I recently read a quote that said, “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come.” It resonated. Not because I don’t love my friends. I do. Fiercely. Wholeheartedly. But, I’m that friend. You know the one . . . the last commit, the first to leave. The one who chooses option C when everyone else chooses options A or B. The one who doesn’t initiate the plans. And struggles to show up to the ones that are made even though they are with the people closest to my heart. The one who politely declines opportunities for reasons that are sometimes driven solely...

Keep Reading

Why Have Team Sports Gotten So Expensive?

In: Living, Motherhood
Cheerleaders holding pom poms in line

I love what being on the dance team has taught my daughter. It has taught her to work hard and not give up even when things get difficult. It is currently teaching her that you don’t have to like everyone, but sometimes you do have to work with everyone for the benefit of the team. It has taught her confidence in herself and kept her in great shape. Those are valuable life lessons, and that’s what we’re here for. But something deeply concerns me about these school sports, marching bands, dance, and cheer teams. They are so expensive that only...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Sunday School Teacher

In: Faith, Living
Woman sitting at table surrounded by kids in Sunday school class, color photo

God looked around at all He had created, and He knew He would need someone to teach His children. So God made a Sunday school teacher. God knew He needed someone with a heart and desire to teach children God’s word. God knew the children would act up and made Sunday school teachers with patience and grace to guide them when they step out of line in class. He also made Sunday school teachers with a touch of discretion to know when the stories of a child may be real or imagined. God knew this person would need to be...

Keep Reading

Here’s to the Friends Who Don’t Hide Their Messy Parts

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Two women sit in a field with arms around each other

To the friend who invited me over without picking her house up beforehand . . . thank you.  You had no way of knowing, but I’ve been especially weighed down by the feeling of “I can’t keep up” lately—and when I walked into your beautiful home and saw dishes in the sink and laundry scattered here and there, I let out the deepest exhale I didn’t even realize I was holding in.  Because seeing your mess? Your less-than-perfect? It didn’t make me think any differently of you, but it did allow me to give myself the grace I desperately needed....

Keep Reading

This Is a Mom’s Brain in the Middle of the Night

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman looking at smartphone in the middle of the night

Dear husband, let me introduce you to your wife, insomnia edition. You see me not sleeping. You see me “playing” on my phone. Here’s what my brain is actually doing . . .  It’s 2 a.m., I wake up thinking, “I need to make an appointment” (it can be as mundane and stupid as a haircut or more importantly, a specialist appointment for one of the kids). I try to go back to sleep, promising myself I will remember. Lying there, I tell myself I won’t forget. I will remember, don’t worry. Fifteen minutes go by . . . On...

Keep Reading

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Small dog with head hanging out car window, color photo

Our dog Carlos has slowed down considerably within the last few months. He’s always been outspoken and opinionated–a typical firstborn trait–and to hear him snoring most of the day and tolerating things he normally wouldn’t tolerate (i.e. being carried from place to place by my son, forklift-style) put me on notice that he’s in the fourth quarter. Carlos looks and acts like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. According to Wikipedia, Ewoks are clever, inquisitive, and inventive. Carlos checks all three boxes. As a puppy, we tried crate training, but it never took. It wasn’t for lack of trying....

Keep Reading

Her Future Will Not Be My Broken Past

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hold hands by water, silhouette photo

Forty years ago, you were an innocent child. You were brought into this world for a purpose. Your innocence is robbed before kindergarten by a trusted relative. You are broken and bruised by those entrusted to protect you. You are extremely emotional in your childhood, but no one listens to understand. As you grow into your teenage years, emotions are bottled up out of fear. You lean into promiscuous behavior because that is the only way you know how to get men to love you. Because of abuse that no one took you out of, you stay around those who...

Keep Reading

Mom’s Special Recipe Means More This Year

In: Grown Children, Living
Bowl full of breadcrumbs and celery, color photo

Three weeks before Easter, my family and I stood in the hallway talking to a team of doctors whom we had flagged down. We were anxiously inquiring about my mom, who was in the ICU on life support. We hadn’t been able to connect with the doctors for over 48 hours, so it was important for us to check in and see what was going on. The head doctor began discussing everything they had observed in the scans and what it meant for my mom’s quality of life. Every word made our hearts break. The doctor continued to talk about...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom Who Reads and is Raising Readers

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom with infant daughter on bed, reading a book, color photo

Since childhood, I’ve been lost in a world of books. My first true memory of falling in love with a book was when my mom read aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With each voice she used, I fell deep into the world of imagination, and I’ve never seemed to come up for air. My reading journey has ebbed and flowed as my life has gone through different seasons, but I’ve always seemed to carry a book with me wherever I went. When I entered motherhood and gave my whole life over to my kids, I needed something that...

Keep Reading