The Myth of Balance

The crowd watches breathless as the tightrope walker gently sways, crossing one foot in front of the other. He holds in his hand a balance bar to keep him steady. Both he and the crowd know that one misstep, leaning too far in one direction will cause him to crash to the net below. The suspense mounts as he reaches the center of the rope…

This is the visual I see when I think of balance. It is a practiced skill. Successfully performed, it earns the admiration and applause of the audience. While it may be entertaining and even euphoric at times, this is not the place I want to live.

Mothers trying to juggle the demands of a household are often encouraged to find balance. As if we can stack the demands of laundry, meal planning and cleaning chores against the commitments to husband, children, community and work and expect to stay on course. We are to effectively juggle each part of our lives so everything stays in the air. I don’t know about you, but I am just clumsy enough that each time I try to balance things, I am sure to let at least one of them fall.

Author Marva J. Dawn agrees that this is not the place God wants us to be. She states in her book, A Sense of Call:

The balance paradigm is unsuitable because it assumes that our problem is external–a disorder in our schedule or our job or our season of life. But the truly significant disorder is internal.

Robert Kiyosaki also comments in his financial classic, Rich Dad, Poor Dad:

Balanced people go nowhere. They stay in one spot.

If balance is not the answer, that leaves us as busy women with a dilemma. Just how are we to get everything done? What is the secret to managing ourselves, our families, our homes and our time? The tightrope stretches out before us, and we feel as though we must walk its length with greased shoes.

I have learned that while balance may be a performance, even one occasionally obtainable, rhythm is a sustainable way of life. While the tightrope walker’s performance brings suspense and intrigue, rhythm is what keeps the melody of our days on course. It plods along next to beautiful harmony. Individual lives and homes can play a joyful symphony or a melancholy ballad, but each one can progress with some basic elements in place to create a place of order and loveliness.

A post from the Simple Homeschool blog, concurs:

A family rhythm moves with the unique needs of the day, holding steady ground for children to learn and parents to work.

Walking on steady ground. Isn’t that where you would rather be?

For you, the reader: What type of lifestyle do you try to create? A life of balance or rhythm? How does that look in your unique household and situation?


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  • […] told you before that I’m not a big fan of balance  but prefer rhythm instead. That sounds nice, but how does it look practically speaking? Here are […]

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