I recently saw an Instagram post that was tremendously popular. It involved a young woman who took her two sons with her to pick up a few things at Walmart. The store clerk complimented the mother on how well dressed and well behaved the two boys were. The mother laughed, thanked the clerk for the kind words and left the store. She continued her post saying that her appearance of having it all together was just that – an appearance. The mother then detailed her private dealings with depression and anxiety that were invisible to the well-meaning store clerk and many of those around her.
That post reminded me of what I encounter on a daily basis at the studio, running errands with my daughter or at school drop-off: Women working so hard trying to achieve a level of perfection in every facet of their lives.
Motherhood can be a grind. Throw in a professional career and a satisfying relationship with your spouse, and it’s a wonder we’re still standing. The challenge is to maintain a fluid stream in our activities and priorities and focus on balancing the different aspects of life (finding time for family, spouse, children, friends, work, and YOURSELF!). Yes, it’s a juggling act, but the rewards are immense!
Watching my daughter, Lucia, grow from a tiny infant to an inquisitive toddler and now an active, young child is one of my life’s greatest joys. As I’m sure any parent will agree, seeing your child change each day, learn new things, and grow into a whole, happy, responsible person is one of life’s greatest gifts.
As a Pilates instructor, I’m honored to guide my students in their practice and I find much happiness helping them improve their well being. Life’s stresses seemingly melt away with the opportunity to inspire my students to become stronger and better and to witness their gains in overall health and happiness.
It’s a gift to share parenting and my professional endeavors with my husband. Life as a couple is a continuous balancing act – an effort to maintain the gentle flow of give and take, while working together to realize immediate and long term goals. At times, marriage can feel like my Pilates practice – I know a position and am confident in how my body will adjust to it, and then suddenly, I feel my muscles begin to quiver and I’m thrown slightly off balance. But with a deep breath and a re-focus of my energy, I’m back on stable footing.
My husband’s unconditional love and support, and having him beside me as we work together towards our shared goals is like that deep breath. It provides our family with a protected and secure foundation, allowing the three of us to begin each day as stronger individuals.
Even if it appears that others live their lives effortlessly and seamlessly, it’s important to remember that we all have our struggles. It’s even more important to live with gratitude and to remember the gifts we are given. I focus on these rewards whenever life feels difficult.
I hope that by demonstrating solid core values to my daughter, she will also lead a life of love, gratitude and patience – and focus on the balance.
Marilyn Mardini, BS, PMA®-CPT