Finding Balance in the Chaos of Motherhood by Amanda Fagan

Okay guys, this is Sharon here. Since this is the very first guest post for The Grace Haven I wanted to kick it off and tell you really quickly why I am delighted to have Amanda here with us! Not only is she a fellow twin-mama, but Amanda is also a doctor and my fitness superhero. When I think of Amanda, I think of the word BALANCE. She both lives in the moment, but also plans her moments so she can optimize the use of her time. Amanda probably doesn’t know this, but her mantra of creating balance is one of the reasons The Grace Haven launched. I kept putting it off because it was a “Sharon-thing” and not a “Mom-thing,” but as Amanda is about to tell have to have BOTH!

IMG_7044Balance. Something that always seemed to come easy for me. I grew up attending 10+ hours of dance class weekly while maintaining straight A’s in all my honor classes. I finished my bachelor’s degree in 3 years while working 2 part-time jobs at the same time. I attended medical school and planned a wedding, traveled, and always made a point to make time for myself, my pups, & my husband. So when it came to wanting children, I knew my acquired traits of someone with type A personality would surely work to my advantage. There’s no way one child could de-rail the way of life I’ve become accustom to.

And then I had twins. End of Story! No, but really : ) Twins were definitely not in our plans, and my perfectly balanced & well organized life was sure to get twisted. I’m here to tell you that although motherhood is never what you expect, it’s still totally do-able to remain sane, create balance, and continue to live a somewhat similar lifestyle prior to becoming a mom!

One of the most asked questions I get is “How do you do it all?”, and the answer honestly- I don’t.  Raising children is NOT a one-person job. And if you’re reading this and you’re solo-parenting, I sure hope you give yourself the biggest hug and an immense amount of grace, because you truly have my upmost respect! My husband is half of what keeps our chaos together. And I always tell my fellow mommas: you need to find balance and create time for yourself, and you need to find balance within the tasks required to keep your kiddos alive. My husband often is the one dropping our boys off at daycare, making their bottles, doing the dishes. It’s not just all mom, and I’m so blessed for that.

So how do I find time for myself? I make time. If I’m stressed, the boys sense it. Life is too short to spend your entire 18+ years of motherhood feeling insecure, inadequate, or having a lack of self-worth. Waking up an hour before the boys get up to give myself some time to get in a quick workout, enjoy a cup of {hot} coffee, and throw down some breakfast is literally the deal breaker for my day. It makes a world of a difference in my mind and attitude. I feel myself, I feel like I gave myself the selfcare I deserve, and I feel centered throughout the day and ready to devote my entire self to my boys. Skipping on this hour isn’t an option. It’s essential for my wellbeing, because I’ve decided that my health is a priority and I deserve that selfcare. 

That pretty much covers the mental aspect of juggling it all, but how do us mommas “physically” handle it? Honestly, if it were not for my Erin Condren life planner, I’d be one of those mommas with a blindfold around my eyes. I MUST write everything down, heck, I even write down my work schedule each week and it never changes! But writing down my day-to-day schedule is essential. Keeps me organized, keeps our household running smooth. I write down their appointments, my appointments, when I meal plan, what I meal plan, everything. Yes, I work full time; sometimes 40+ hours in a week. My boys attend daycare full time, and I will likely never be a SAHM. Why not? Because as a brand new family medicine physician, I’ve accrued six-figures in student loans. You don’t go into Medicine to get rich. You go into medicine because you love the job.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t love staying at home, it’s just not an option for me given the career path I chose. Daycare is a struggle. It wasn’t until they were 11 months old that we found a reputable nanny as backup, so prior to that- when they were sick- my husband and I had to scramble. It’s hard. But it’s also the best thing for my boys given our scenario. I never want a momma feeling bad because their child attends daycare. My boys LOVE it, and are so well cared for. The amount of hatred messages I’ve received about how my boys spend more time there than they do at home is sad. My husband & I both work full time so we can provide a safe and nice lifestyle for our children. When we travel, our boys come with us, and we spend every waking minute with them when they aren’t sleeping. Turning your ears from others who try to knock you down is something you’ll acquire, and it’s essential to survival. When you realize that most negative comments are fueled by jealousy of the love and happiness you radiate- those comments don’t bother you anymore.

At the end of the day, you need to realize that you are enough. Whether you’re a SAHM, full-time working mom, a mom who didn’t breastfeed, a mom who works out, a mom who doesn’t workout. It’s okay. What’s important is that you’re trying your best. You will never feel good enough, because being a mother on top of life in general is the hardest job we’ll ever do. Give yourself grace, find balance within your chaos, drop the unneeded negativity in your life, and enjoy these precious moments as a momma!

IMG_7044Amanda Fagan is a licensed family physician, wife, and mamma to twin boys, whom she conceived through the use of Femara after 2 years of infertility. Her and her husband have been married for 6 years and currently reside in Las Vegas, NV. In their spare time, they are avid Disney lovers and travelers. You can follow her twin momma journey more through instagram at @amandalynne2