Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!


Juggling all the Hats We Wear

Moms_Day_cardSometimes as I mother I feel like I should have gone to juggling school rather than college.  I can barely juggle two oranges, yet as I mother I feel like I juggle at least 12 different “hats” of responsibility.  I’m still trying to learn how to juggle being myself, being a wife, being a mother, being a friend, daughter, sister, aunt, homemaker, chef, laundress, nurse, volunteer, accountant, landscaper, maid, handyman, and the list continues.  How does one strike a healthy and fulfilling balance?

Although, there may not be a clear cut answer to this age old question, there surely can be things that can aid.  I have found breathing helps.  ;)  Learning to set priorities and goals have also been key in finding balance for me.  Flexibility is also necessary.  I always remind my kids and husband that, “having expectations sets you up for disappointment, by not having expectations, you will always be plesantly surprised.” 

How as mothers can you find that perfect balance?  Since none of us are perfect or ever will be, that idea may as well be thrown out.  However, balance is attainable and realistic.  I love the following article.  Although balance takes effort, time management and a lot of cutting yourself some slack, it is well worth any amount of energy given. 

Daily I have to remind myself of things that I am doing and getting done.  I can’t do everything, but I can do the most important.  This is different for each of us.  We all are juggling many roles and hats and we all will find ourself with the unexpected.  I have found learning to laugh more and cry less is helpful.  I have learned to stop before reacting and evaluate instead.  If something happens we all have two choices…get upset or decide it’s not the end of the world. I also strive to remember that relationships are more important than anything else. 

I’m so grateful for all the many women role models I have in my life who have given me strength to see that I can achieve my dreams… it may not be today, but everything in it’s own season.  I’m grateful to be a mother and learn that life is often out of whack but not out of balance.  I’m grateful to all who remind me that this craziness called life is a season I will never regret and will one day long for.  For the moment…I will choose to see the best and continue learning how to juggle, even if I get messy.

How have you “juggled” the hats you wear?  Do you have any helpful suggestions in striking balance in your life?

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5 Comments on “Juggling all the Hats We Wear”

  • Trinyan May 14th, 2010 10:04 am

    This is a great topic. I’m interested to see what people have to say about it. In some ways, it seems like those crazy, hectic days as a mother with tweens go by in a haze. The constant demands on time make the days and months and years fly by. But looking back on those times, a lot of the pressure to go-go-go seems foolhardy, though at the time it felt so necessary. Instead, there should have been more living in the moment and less capitulating to the pressure of the clock and calendar. The best moments weren’t orchestrated or sign up for. They happened unexpectedly and when there was time for personalities to get comfortable, expand, and open up. I’m sure when I was too busy and focused on what needs to happen next, I missed a lot of moments.

  • Sarah May 18th, 2010 10:53 am

    As a 30 yr. old single mother living with her parents (and Father has Parkinson’s disease)- I juggle the hats of adult child who is a daughter, a student, a mother to a son who has special needs (Down syndrome)- aka: advocate, educator and taxi driver to all his appointments and therapies and any other service or activity that benefits him….cook, housekeeper, “artist” and individual, sister, aunt, and many more roles that I’m sure I’m overlooking in the name of humility. Women are almost born with the inept ability to multi-task and conquer although not all of us are as naturally inclined- it’s tough!! and takes a lot of tenacity and heart and soul….Admittedly in my life- spirituality is what falls a few notches on the priority belt- as I stay busy with life’s responsibilities and tasks…..I forget Who makes it all possible – AH! the burdens of blessings!! For me, it is when one of the areas of spiritual, physical, mental, or emotional health is out of balance or being ignored- that makes all the other things I do more difficult. Balance is important and I am still learning how to “do it all” although I’m not sure I am meant to, not alone….This is why communication boards like this are a good thing- to check in, learn, and share- and to remind ourselves- we really are not alone at all.

  • Kristen Paulsen May 18th, 2010 3:04 pm

    Thank you Trinyan and Sarah for your comments! It is true we are not alone and we will never be perfect!;) I know when I slow down enough I realize that there is a “higher” power or strength that is sustaining me. I look at life as a balance and when the scales are tipped it’s because the center pillar (which rests on the base and supports the beam) is being ignored. This foundational piece for me is God.

  • Onslow Alison May 18th, 2010 6:46 pm

    Sarah and Trinyan, thank you both for taking time to comment!

    Sarah, you are really part of that sandwich generation and I absolutely applaud your ability to be so bright and positive.

    Kristen’s post resonates for so many women, myself included. It’s hard with all that goes on and all the hats we wear to remember to keep yourself centered. Yet it is imperative.

    Thank you ladies for being part of our community!

  • Trinyan May 19th, 2010 8:20 am

    Sarah–I loved your comment and the words you chose to describe what it takes to be a mother: “tenacity, heart and soul.” Right on.

    I’ve had to work outside the home my whole life and right now am working full time. But while I have had success in my career and love the recognition that I get for a job well done, there is nothing that compares to the joy of being a mother. It’s the best thing I ever did.

    To hear all that you do as a single mom is moving. I’ve been a single mom and know first hand some of the challenges. So of all the hats I’m juggling, I’m taking several of them off to you! My thanks to you and to Kristen and to all the good mothers for changing the world every day.

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