Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Balancing Act

When I was a kid I remember loving the circus. The lions, the creepy clowns, the $10 cotton candy- it was all amazing to me. I even liked the trapeeze artists who soared in the air and the acrobats that could balance 6 plates in the air with their teeth. Nowadays Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey seems to have disappeared, which is probably good after the animal mistreatment allegations popped up. But what stuck with me was those darn acrobats and how well they could balance. It seemed impossible! All my life I've struggled with balance. I tend to lean towards all-or-nothing thinking, so either I do something 1000% or not at all. This leads to me quickly burning out on things. I remember the time when I thought I would try acting and begged my mom for classes. I went every week with joy...for about 3 weeks. Then the novelty wore off and I was no longer obsessed with learning about acting. All I wanted to do was blow off the classes because I was tired of focusing 24/7 on "the craft."

My point is that life is a constant balancing act: school, work, family, friends, love. It's really hard! We tend to overdo somethings and underdo others. Family gets neglected due to due the excitement of a new relationship. Exercise goes by the wayside when work gets crazy. School grades slip when bills need to get paid. Keeping all of our priorities in line is hard work. But what I have noticed in the clients I have worked with, and in my own life, is that following a life of balance is essential for happiness. Anything done too much, even eating kale, is negative to maintaining balance in your life.

The balance I want to focus on specifically is relationship balance. What I mean by that is putting enough energy into your partner. Relationships need nurturing and care- especially long-term ones. Sometimes we take our lovers for granted and do not prioiritize them because they've always been there. Add in kids and that balance can get out of wack really fast. What happens when the kids come before your relationship? Answer: nothing good. To be completely honest, I do speak about children from a childless place. However, as a therapist I have seen countless couples who have neglected their own union because of their chilren, to disasterous results. The closeness dies because you no longer talk about each other (or do things alone) and instead, it's all about the kids. Of course you need to make your children a priority, but remember that you and your spouse existed before they did. No one 'has' to be married, it's a choice. Making that choice everyday can be hard some days, but the good should outweigh the bad- the scale should tip towards the positive.

Balance 'you' time with 'us' time. Balance work with play. Balance salad with ice cream. Balance water with wine. Above all, remember that those acrobats didn't start off with instantly balancing all those plates or walking on that thin of a rope. It took time, practice, and falling a million times but getting back up. Don't punish yourself if you forget to call your mom because of your big project at work or date night goes by the wayside due to your little boy's school play. Life will get out of balance sometimes, that is a guarantee. Recognizing that and continuing to work on restoring that balance will go wonders for keeping you sane, happy and healthy. We all walk our version of a tightrope, even if we've never been to the circus.