Welcome to Guest Post Month at The MOB Society! Today’s post is from Tara Cole, wife, mother, writer, and adjunct professor at Southern Nazarene University. Please welcome her!

I’m a black and white person. I don’t really like middles or in betweens. Either it is, or it isn’t. But I’m learning, slowly, that’s not the way things are. Yes, there are some things that are black and white, but much of life is lived in a tension between the two.

don’t do tension well.


I’ve fought it for years. After becoming a parent, I always heard about perfecting the “balance” between parenting and everything else, and up until recently, I bought into the lie. I had thought there was some magical recipe for achieving balance. A perfect schedule, a certain number of hours spent playing, an answer to the problem of balance.

I’ve realized this past week there is no answer.

Balance in its very essence is a tension. A tension between the many extremes pulling at you, all wanting their way.

If there were no tension, there would be no need for balance.

Think of it as someone trying to stand on a ball. As they try to balance, they shift one way then another. For a moment they may be able to stand perfectly still, but usually they are being pulled toward one extreme or the other. To lean completely to one extreme is to lose their balance and fall, but in moving between the extremes, never giving totally into one for long, a kind of balance is achieved.

In this case, balance is an ebb and flow between the tensions. Right now I balance between the tensions of work, chores, and family. My tendency is to be tenacious in one thing until it is completed, but writing, teaching, chores, and family are all on going processes. They are never really finished or completed, and all fall apart without regular attention.

So how do I find balance? This week I realized I don’t. Some weeks will lean more toward the family side, and last week was just one of those weeks. The boys and I played outside enjoying the few remaining days of warmth. On Friday they helped me clean the house, and I only accomplished one chore on my long list that day, but they were willing and happy to help.

This week is leaning more toward chores and work. I had to finally address the floors that had begun to support colonies of who knows what. Then since my Composition class just ended, I let the boys watch a movie while I furiously graded papers close by. On Friday I did get my long list done, but a rainy afternoon allowed for playing games and watching movies together.

Realizing that there is no perfect answer, no perfect balance, has brought a peace, but not the one I had hoped for. I had hoped God would grant me the formula for getting it all just right, to be able to live without the tension. Instead, He’s teaching me to walk with Him daily in the tension. Asking Him each morning, each moment, what this day needs, and trusting Him to lead me through it.

This. Is. Hard. I won’t tell you that I love it when my floors become worlds of their own, while I’m off playing outside. But I do love playing with my two boys, being the one to see them smile, look them in the eyes, and laugh with them. I don’t love it when I need to sit my boys in front of the TV for a few moments of peace to finish up grading, but I do love the opportunities my job provides for our family.

It’s all a balance. A constant movement between the tensions pulling at me. The answer, I’m discovering, isn’t in the amount of hours given to each task or relationship on a given day. Instead, it’s found in weaving them all together, allowing them each to pull harder on some days than others, and trusting God to lead. 


Tara is a wife, mother, adjunct professor, and writer. She has two young boys ages 2 and 3, who keep her running. During rest time, Tara teaches online Composition I and II for Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma. You will find her writ in at: Overacup.org encouraging women toward their goal of daily Bible study.