Balancing Parenthood and Personhood

Being a mummy (or daddy!) is a balancing act.  There is a constant need to be in two places at once, live two lives at once.

We are adults, with work commitments, financial responsibilities, and social groups.

But we are also parents, a.k.a.:

  • Provider
  • Playmate
  • Confidante
  • Cook
  • Moral compass
  • Taxi
  • Bank
  • Cheerleader

It can sometimes feel like two worlds pulling in different directions.  And who wins out? Who should win out? Is it possible to do both?

The balancing act: parenting

Mummy, can you play with me? Mummy, watch this! Watch what I’m doing! What’s for tea? Can I help make it? When will you be finished? Mummy, can you come here? Mummy, I need my shoes. Where are my shoes? Can you help me look for them? Can you fasten my coat? Mummy, where’s the ball gone? Is tea ready yet? Watch this! Mummy, can you play with me?

Children are wrapped up in their own world. They think about how the world works in relation to them and often miss the bigger picture. It can be infuriating tiring!

But there are bills to be paid, deadlines to be met, chores to be done (My ironing pile is fondly referred to as ‘Mount Everest Knicker-Vest’!)

I love cuddling under a blanket and reading to my kiddies. I love playing hoola hoop in the garden. I love seeing them giggle. I wish we could share those special, giggly moments all the time.

But I have responsibilities.

The balancing act: adulting

I also have my own needs.

I need to see my own friends. I need to pursue my own hobbies (shockingly, it’s not a life ambition of mine to do handstands!)

I don’t want to be a slave to my children. I’m not here purely for their entertainment. I am a person too.

I also have to pay the bills. I have to keep on top of the clothes washing cycle (with the exception of the ironing!). I have to do the weekly food shop.

It’s so hard to find a balance. I am desperately aware that they’re only young for a short time, and I don’t want to miss it. But the world cannot evolve round them in the way that they sometimes think it should.Balancing Dad Sea

Finding a balance

I have come to the unhappy conclusion that whatever I decide to do, I will feel guilty about it!

Did I spend enough time with the kids? Are we earning enough to give them what they want? Have I enrolled them in enough extra-curricular activities? Are they getting enough 1-on-1 time? Is the food I’m giving them nutritious enough? Did I spend enough on their Christmas presents? Should I be cutting my work hours down so that I can pick them up from school?

I wish there was an easy answer. I’m a chronic over-thinker. I can’t help but chew this stuff over and over in my mind.

But here is my conclusion; we are ALL people. We ALL have needs and desires. My children do. I do.

I’m a mummy so I love to take care of my children and I naturally put them first. BUT, I also need to look after myself.

So fellow mummies, here is my conclusion:

If working full time brings you fulfilment, do it, because a contented parent will make for a contented child

If staying at home is important to you, do it, because a parent who upholds their values will make for a child who upholds their values.

If socialising with your friends makes you happy, do it, because a parent who is happy will make for a child who is happy.

Oh, my little ones, I love you so very much. I will always be here to listen when you need me. But please try to understand that mummy has to keep the world turning too. I do it for you. I do it all for you, even though you can’t see it.



Pink Pear Bear


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  1. 1
    Tracey Bowden

    A lovely post! I agree that we parents can lose ourselves at times to make sure our babies are getting everything they need. I agree that a happy parent is better for the kids so we need to make sure to remember that too #bigpinklink

  2. 3

    This is a very good and important post. I don’t feel as though I have balance right after not returning to work. I think it is very hard to get what’s right for you yet so important.

    • 4
      Lucy At Home

      I think it’s especially hard when you’re a stay at home mum because you are “mum” 24/7. At least you are called by your real name if you go to work and you have fellow adults for company. It’s really hard to find a balance. Thanks for leaving a comment. L

  3. 10

    A thought provoking post, and a dilemma alot of us face, and you, and I and many others are dong the best we can, we have happy, healthy children who know they are loved but will also understand – one day – that we can’t always be there for them, no matter how hard we try, but everything we do is for them; the extra hours at work, the family trip to the zoo or the friday night drinks with the girls, its all part of making it work for everyone. Your doing a great job!

    • 11
      Lucy At Home

      Aaaw thank you for your encouragement. Yes I guess they will understand one day (when they have their own children, if not before!). As you say, we just need to keep doing our best for them, even if they can’t understand that that’s what we’re doing. Thank you for leaving a comment. L

  4. 12

    What a great post. This is something I’ve felt keenly as a stay at home parent (I suspect everyone does, regardless of the balance they strike). After 2 years of being at home with my daughter I’m definitely feeling the need to make time for work or hobbies to give me more stimulation, although it’ll be another year when we reach school age that this is going to be possible. Until then it’s doing what I can around the edges while being chief play friend each day! #twinklytuesday

    • 13
      Lucy At Home

      I think it’s hard for stay at home parents to set boundaries because there is no separate work place or separate time to be “me”. As you say, it’s just trying to snatch a bit of time around the edges! Thank you for your comment. L

  5. 14

    So true, I’m mulling over a return to work at the moment as the end of my maternity leave is up in November. Some days I’m keen to go back, other days I just want to stay at home! As you say whatever decision you make there’s guilt lurking! #twinkly tuesday

    • 15
      Lucy At Home

      Oh yes it’s so hard to know what to do. I’m dreadful at making decisions! I spend ages worrying which option to go for. And then once I’ve chosen, I worry about whether I should have made a different decision! Haha. It’s a wonder anything gets done in our house! I hope you manage to figure out what is the right for you soon. L

  6. 16

    Read my mind hun! I have a post scheduled for friday where I talk about feeling burnt out. With eveything going on in life I’ve forgotten to look after my own needs to. You’re right, we’ll always feel guilty

    • 17
      Lucy At Home

      I think it must be that time of year – I’ve read another 2 posts along the same lines today from different bloggers! I think I take everything with a side helping of mummy guilt! Thank you for leaving a comment. L

  7. 18
    Louise Pink Pear Bear

    I think with parenting the saying ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ is totally apt! You NEVER feel happy about your decisions. I feel bad if I’m snappy as hell if I don’t have enough me time, I feel guilty if I have me time! I feel guilty if I’m working and guilty if I’m not! It’s rubbish. But I do think I’m a good mummy. Or rather, they do, and that’s what’s important. Thanks for linking up with the #bigpinklink

    • 19
      Lucy At Home

      Totally! You can’t please everybody all the time. It’s a good point, though, that our children still think we’re good mums and it’s their opinion that matters. Thank you for commenting. L

  8. 20
    Fi - Beauty Baby and Me

    Well said honey!! It’s a never ending balancing act and it’s so important we find time for ourselves otherwise we’d go nuts. But it’s typical parent guilt isn’t it – drives you mad. Love this post it’s really given me something to think about xx #BloggerClubUK

    • 21
      Lucy At Home

      Aaaw glad you liked the post. It’s something that’s really been playing on my mind, recently. I know I don’t take enough time for myself, but I feel guilty if I do! Aaargh! Thanks for leaving a comment. L

  9. 22

    A really lovely post that has made me realise I shouldn’t feel bad for craving my own space sometimes, like you say, as parents, we are still people too! All too easy to forget when you’re racing to the nursery, then jumping on a train to work, meeting the demands at work and then back to do the same in reverse. #BloggerClubUK

  10. 24
    Marina Ilieva

    This is such a lovely post! I couldn’t agree more, it’s all about finding the balance. I pay attention to my child and his needs, but sometimes, I prefer to be on my own doing my things. However, I’m afraid he still doesn’t get the idea and keeps treating me as his slave. 😀 #BloggerClubUK

  11. 26
    The Mum Project

    So true! I think we have to remember that we are people too and we have needs too. I always forget my own needs first, but it’s so important that we take care of ourselves! Lovely post! #coolmumclub

  12. 28
    Angela Watling

    You’re spot on with this. I think the biggest parent hurdle is just learning to embrace the guilt and moving on. In these modern times there is always something extra we could be doing; Something more we could be committing to. If we always put our own needs last then we never get to them and end up worn out and resentful – no good for anyone! Just imagine the ironing pile if that happened… *shudder* #CoolMumClub

    • 29
      Lucy At Home

      Haha yes you’re right. I have to admit I do sometimes get a little resentful (and then consequently feel guilty about that too!). Ah well, we live and learn (hopefully). Thank you for leaving a comment. L

  13. 30

    Yes! Amen to this. Finding a happy balance is the ultimate goal right? Although I’m not sure it’s achievable, we can’t give up!! I found a bit of exercise and an alcohol free night out does me the world of good (as well as the odd knees up too!). A little bit of what you fancy does you good…and obviously, a creative outlet like BLOGGING! xx Cheers for joining in with #coolmumclub hun

    • 31
      Lucy At Home

      Yes my blog has made a huge difference to me. As a SAHM, I don’t have the opportunity to be ‘Lucy’ very often – I am ‘Mummy’ 24/7. On my blog I can chat to my readers, have an opinion, talk about things that I think and find interesting, and just be creative. It’s boosted my confidence no end and made me believe that actually I DO deserve some me-time. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  14. 32
    Cherry @ The Newby Tribe

    This is so poignant for me today as recently my 6yo has had a complete fit that I was spending time on my laptop when she thought I should be playing / talking / entertaining her – and that it wasn’t fair! I felt awful! Was it true that I was putting my own needs above hers? It took a bit of straight talking from my husband to make me realise that I spend plenty of time with the children, and it is just as important that I have my own interests and things to do because that makes me a well rounded person, and if I am achieving my goals in life then I am giving the children something to aim for too. Thanks for sharing – it’s great to realise I’m not alone in this! #twinklytuesday

    • 33
      Lucy At Home

      This is good point – by working towards our own dreams and goals, we inspire our kids. Also, moving on from that, showing them that relaxing is important (not just work) is a good lesson to teach them too. Thank you for pointing these out! L

  15. 34

    Aaaah mummy guilt! My friend and I were talking about this the other day. She put her little girl into nursery when she was 9 months old and went back to full time work. She has felt guilty every day since (she’s 3 now) as she feels like she’s missing out on her growing up. I am a stay at home mum and now feel guilty for NOT putting my daughter into nursery as I feel like she’s missing out on something! We both agreed to just stop feeling guilty….we are all amazing! #coolmumclub

    • 35
      Lucy At Home

      Whatever we do, we feel guilty about it. Nursery = guilt. Stay at home = guilt. You’re right – we just need to get over it and accept that we’re all doing the best we can with the circumstances we’ve been dealt. Thank you for your comment, Kerry. L

  16. 36
    Lisa (mummascribbles)

    Love this! No matter what we do, we always feel like we are doing something wrong! I felt guilty working full time. Now I’m on maternity leave i feel guilty that I still send Zach to nursery twice a week! I can’t win! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • 45
      Lucy At Home

      Aaaw bless you! What a lovely comment. I’m glad you found the post helpful. I think it’s a really tough thing to put into practise and I know I really struggle with it too because, as I said, the guilt! But I will keep trying and I wish you luck as you try to find your own balance. L

  17. 46
    Kirsten Toyne

    Great post. It is a balancing act with no right answer as such. For me it is still as case of trial and error. Time for ourselves so often leaves us feeling guilty but it does benefit everyone when we are happy parents.

  18. 48
    Bridie By The Sea

    I love this post – I am about to embark on being a part time working mum in a couple of weeks and already I am feeling the guilt! The balancing act is tough but as you rightly say, we are people too and need to try to get the balance that’s right for us…I hope it will work for us! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam Fab post as always!

    • 49
      Lucy At Home

      Good luck with your new job! It’s such a tough decision to make, and I’m fairly certain that I will feel guilty whatever decisions I make in life! I hope it all works out for you and thank you for leaving a comment. L

  19. 51
    absolutely prabulous

    Ah…a fellow over-thinker. We just drive ourselves nuts with it all don’t we?! I must admit the one thing I’ve never felt any guilt over whatsoever is me time and I’ve had me time from the time my first child was just months old. But I definitely do agonise about the list of things you’ve mentioned here. And of course then we take off our mummy hat, put on our blog hat and suffer from…blogger’s guilt…! #bloggerclubuk

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