Redefining Balance in Parenting and Activism: A Guide for Social Justice Families – Medium

Source: Redefining Balance in Parenting and Activism: A Guide for Social Justice Families – Medium

I posted this yesterday to our Facebook page.

As a parent this resonates a hella lot, but there is so much any activist can relate to about work-life-balance. Parenting just ups the stakes. As a parent, you’re juggling more things. The consequences for imbalance are also greater. When I was a young activist, I could work too hard then come crashing down and take a few days to recover. Now that I’m a parent, that’s no longer an option. 6AM is game-on, every day of the week. But parents are also great for the movement because we feel so much more strongly the effects policy can have on our societies. Hell hath no fury like protective Momma and Poppa Bears.

But balance? The struggle is the same, no matter who you are.

My favorite part is the quotes from other activists about how they keep balance in the work (or at least try to). Here’s a few of my favorite gems:

My life is a set of circles within one another, kind of like a bulls eye, and the circles in the center have to be well cared for before the next circle out gets attention. The center circle is my self; the next circle is my family, then my paid work, and then my community work. The center circle has to be functioning well first and foremost, for the rest to work.”

What a great analogy! I also think of it as food groups. What do you, as a person, need to stay healthy? Are you making sure every week that you’re getting a little of each?

Recognizing that sometimes when we push ourselves too far, we actually bring a level of toxicity to the work that is problematic and sometimes the best thing for the movement is to remove yourself and admit that you don’t have the capacity and that’s ok….what I bring is more than good enough. We live in this society that says if you aren’t doing it all, while wearing a blindfold, with one arm tied behind your back and a couple of kids hanging off you, then you aren’t doing enough. It’s an act of resistance to show up as you are.”

So much of activism assumes that you’re going to dedicate yourself to this 24/7. As a parent, and as someone doing a long-term campaign (as we all are) that just ain’t practical. Also, it’s not revolutionary. Revolutionary is saying that it’s OK to be strong and cry at the same time, that it’s important to rest and have a 40hr work-week, that it’s important to take care of our families and loved ones first. Take care of your inner circle, show up as you are. It’ll be Ok.

Peace, warriors. And check out the rest of this great article here.

 

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