March 10, 2014

"Balanced" by Tricia Goyer Book Review

I'm still new to the whole work-at-home mom routine. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time knowing whether or not I can even call myself a work-at-home mom, because currently I earn little to no money. However, regardless of whether you're the author of forty books or a never-been-published author, it's a struggle to know how to properly balance caring for a family at home and pursuing God-given passions and opportunities.

As a quasi-work-at-home mom who sometimes writes while the kids are awake, I enjoyed reading Balanced. Honestly, it's a challenge to learn how to navigate the waters of work and parenthood. if I wait until the end of the day to begin my "work" I find that I am so drained and exhausted that I usually have nothing creative left to give.

I think it benefits my children to see me work hard at something I love. They know I love them, and they know that their needs ALWAYS take priority, but I also want to teach them how to pursue passions and callings. I don't want my children to think that the world (or the home) revolves solely around their individual desires. It's a continual struggle to find the balance. I wonder if previous generations felt guilty for not devoting 100% of their waking hours to one-on-one time with their children. I'm pretty sure that in the past, children worked alongside their parents, learning how to work by following their example.

I think the most beneficial thing I took away from reading Tricia Goyer's book is to involve God in all aspects of your work-at-home life. As a writer, I have to trust God's leadership and timing. I don't necessarily have to wait until the kids are grown to begin fulfilling a calling. The book isn't necessarily a how-to guide on working from home, it's more of an inspirational "You can do it!"

There are some helpful tips in the book on how to shape your family's priorities (and how to cut out schedule suffocators), as well as guidance on developing your life themes to help you find balance and direction as a family and as an individual.

As a busy mom, I appreciated that the e-book was a  quick and easy read (only about 70 pages). I always find it encouraging to read stories of moms who have made it work. Goyer has published dozens of successful books and articles, all while raising children from home. While at times the thought of writing four or five books a year seems like an insurmountable goal, it is encouraging to know that it can be done (without having to sacrifice your children on the altar of your ambition). It really is about balance. It's about learning what works for your family. It's about learning how to say "no" to good things. It's about learning how to say "yes" to pursuing the God-given passions, callings, and gifts He's given you.

Each family is different. Each season of family life is also continuously changing. Right now, I'm in the midst of the madness of the early years (diapers, sleep deprivation, Bob the Builder on repeat). I need to be realistic with my expectations (both for myself and my children), but I don't necessarily need to use that as an excuse to put off doing what I feel called to do. Yes, it can be incredibly frustrating (just in the writing of this blog post I've had to break up three fights, refill juice cups, and fix lunch).

It can be hard to type with a two-year-old hanging onto your arm.

Is it ever possible to find the perfect balance? Probably not. Each day is completely different. What worked yesterday may not work today, but we can learn is how to be flexible and focused. We can learn how to set goals and boundaries, because in the end, it's not only ourselves who benefit from working from home, but the little people who sit around the table with us.

I received a complimentary copy of the E-Book to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own honest thoughts of the book. 

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