Parents of Tots

Building a Supportive Social Network

Finding Your Balance

Monday, September 23, 2013 10:39 AM | Deleted user

I am Kristen Herlihy, and I live in Woburn.  I am a clinical social worker providing therapy to children & families, plus the owner & instructor for Baby Boot Camp ® Woburn/Winchester and mom to my 2 year old toddler, Connor.  I look forward to sharing my ideas with you about how to balance the many demands that we as parents have in our lives.  Whether we are stay-at-home parents or full time employees outside of home, we want to do the best by our children, and that means taking care of ourselves as well.

Now that the cooler weather is sneaking into our lives, we may find that our days seem not only shorter, but busier as well.  The carefree summer days & evenings spent lazily enjoying the laid back activities of warm weather fun are now replaced with scheduled, structured programs that help secure our hectic lives.  But with the holiday season officially begun, how can we keep the sanity while still reveling in the festivities?

To start, make sure that you are crystal clear about your priorities.  Is this the fall that you will finally train for that 5K road race that you have been wanting to accomplish?  Are you hoping to take a more active role in your child’s sports team/dance class/drama club so that you can be more involved?  Whatever your goal may be, make sure that you spend some time being honest with yourself about what it is that you want and how you plan on making it happen.  We could all use an 8th day of the week or a clone of ourselves in order to get “more” done.  Instead of getting “more” into your day, get “more quality” into your routine.  You will feel more accomplished and satisfied when your to-do list turns into a done list.  So be specific about your goal and what you need to do to get there.

Now that you have chosen your goals, go ahead and allow yourself to do something that we as parents rarely do – say “no.”  There is always going to be that bake sale that needs another tasty treat, or the mommy & me class that you just “have to join.”  However, if it does not fit into your crystal clear priorities, then walk away.  Yes, you can do it.  Just remind yourself of this little mantra – invitations can be accepted or declined.  That’s right, I said it…declined.  It is perfectly acceptable for you to set limits on your time in order that you may actually have some of that – time for yourself!  So go ahead and reclaim it by communicating those boundaries to others by way of the declined invitation.

So the moments that you have been savoring have finally arrived.  You are attending that art class that you have been putting off for years.  Maybe you finally joined that book club that has been on your calendar, but never attended.  You made the effort to get to your destination, so just sit back and take it all in.  Be aware and observant of this moment that you have created for yourself.  Nope, the dirty dishes can wait.  The grocery list will just have to be completed later.  As busy parents, there is always something else that you can be doing in any particular moment.  However, this moment is different because you worked especially hard to create it.  Be present, be alert and let everything else just fall away, like the leaves on the trees.  The seasons will bring those around again too, just like your chore list, so enjoy the moment for all that it is worth.


  • Thursday, November 07, 2013 2:59 PM | Kristen Herlihey
    Thank you for all your wonderful and useful tips,insight,info,encouragement and motivation to be not only better parents but better to our selves. We need this kind of encouragement to remind ourselves daily. As we all know the daily life of challenges and obstacles can get us down. Thank you for the great support and all the time and energy to make a difference in this world. :)
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