Less Balance, More See-Saw

I’ll admit it, I haven’t read the piece in the Atlantic. I’ve seen some tweets. Read a few commentaries about the piece. Seen some folks post it on Facebook. But I haven’t read it. I’m not sure that I will. Do I need one more person expounding on whether what I’m doing is right/wrong/indifferent/feminist/anti-feminist/social commentary/entitled?


During the past year of this part-time, flexible working arrangement, I’ve come to believe that balance is a dirty word. It’s a misleading concept to mothers who are busting their butts at work, child rearing, love and life.

Can you ever find true balance? I don’t know. Maybe you can. And good for you. Truly. But for me, I don’t know that I want balance. I struggle each day to find presence. When I’m working, I truly enjoy it and tackle the challenge at hand. When I’m with the kids, I love being mom. The difficulty is getting the work voice out of my head when I’m with the kids, and vice versa.

So, debating whether we can have it all seems kind of pointless. We already do “have it all,” don’t we? Many of us have jobs and kids and relationships and... It’s what we do with it “all” that determines whether we are happy. The fact of the matter is that what I do with it and what you might do with it could be two totally different things and yet each might make us happy.

For me, there isn’t balance and I don’t strive for it. I’m constantly on a see-saw. Sometimes I’m working, sometimes I’m with the kids. You can’t see without the saw. Luckily, for me, the ride is what makes it so rewarding. There is nothing less fun than a balanced see-saw, is there? Just staring at your counterpart, wishing someone could tip the scales to send you up into the sky or back down to earth.

If balance works for you, great. But I don’t need someone else to tell me what the right balance is. I like my see-saw life for now. In those moments when I pass through the balance point on the way up and down, I shall acknowledge them with a nod knowing they may be fleeting, but understanding that I will see them again.

And that the journey getting to them is more exciting than just sitting still.