Mama’s Journey for Balance

I talk a lot.  In almost all of my school report cards there were comments about how much better I could do academically if I spent less time talking to my peers.  I can drive for hours with no radio and just chat with my fellow passengers.  I don’t discriminate; I’ll chat about anything.  Not only is it how I pass the time, but this is how I learn and process things I am unfamiliar with.

Looking back now, before I was a parent I would discuss parenting styles, cosleeping, breastfeeding, and more.  I thought I knew what I was going to do and for sure knew the things I would NOT do.  I wish I could go back and tell myself to zip it.  You just don’t know what you are going to do until you are in that situation.  Becoming a mother changes you in so many ways.  I hope I didn’t cause any mamas to want to cut me with my uninformed opinions, and if so, my profuse apologies.


One thing I remember saying I wouldn’t do was to leave my baby overnight before he turned a year old.  I have no idea why now, likely an article I read stated some dangers of doing this, so I was going to follow it and be sure not to leave my boy overnight until he was at least the big #1.

With parenting, I have learned a lot.  A LOT.  But here is the most important thing I have learned: you do what works best for you and your kid, period.  You know them better than anyone, and there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

You cannot do what works for someone else–you can only do you, Mama.

What was right for me?  When my boy was about 10 months old.  I went away with some friends overnight.  Now I didn’t get too crazy.  I was gone for about 24 hours (to a wine tasting and Hot Air Balloon Race in Galena, IL. If you’re wondering, it was fabulous and I’m going again next year!).  Did I miss my boy?  Yes.  Did he notice I was gone?  Maybe.  Is he completely traumatized from his mom abandoning him? Nopers.  What will I do next time? Try to slow down and not be Judgey Mc. Judgerson and realize everyone is doing what works for them.

After my return to a big smile and sloppy kiss, I told my husband about my trip and was reminded how spending time for myself makes me a better mom.  For the same reason I eat well and exercise; this time away gave me energy, keeps me mentally healthy, and is just another reminder how I am a whole person outside of being a mama.  If I don’t take care of me, I cannot take care of him.

I need to find balance, and it is oh-soimportant.


I want to model so many things for my son, because I know he is watching my every move.  I want him to see how important friendships are.  I went on this trip with my closest girlfriends. These are women I have laughed, cried, and shared my life with, as I have known them for over 25 years.  I want him to see how family is not just who you are born into and those with whom you share DNA.  I want him to see how you need people in your life besides your spouse, children, and parents to help mold you, inspire you, and define you.  I want him to see how people and experiences are what make life important, not material things or status symbols.

Finally, I want him to see me, as a whole person, not just a mom. So someday when he is a dad, he will know how important it is to take care of himself and find his balance, too.


Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.


  1. So beautifully said. And so so true! I needed this reminder! I am trying to focus more on me so I can be the best wife, Mom, friend and person. Thank you for sharing such true words!


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