Many parents agonize over trying to find the perfect balance between their work, home and social lives. However, according to The Sanctuary Church, that balance does not exist.
The Sanctuary held its quarterly Parent Connect event on Sunday with a seminar titled “Parenting and the Myth of Balance.” Children’s ministry pastor Brandon Maddux, who started the Parent Connect series, said he came up with the seminar because many of the members in his congregation struggle to find peace within their hectic lives.
“I sent out a survey to a bunch of the parents about what topics they would like to hear us talk about and the third most pressing issue was that work/life balance,” Maddux said. “We realized that with the recent research about the extended work commute times parents in Santa Clarita face, there’s a unique culture where the amount of time that a parent has to interact with their family is significantly reduced.”
Connections pastor Rachel Edwards and her cousin-in-law Dawn Edwards, executive assistant to the church’s senior pastor, were chosen by Maddux to lead the seminar after they voiced to him that through their own experiences they did not believe it was possible to achieve a stable balance. They joked that they were unsure that they should lead the session since they had so much failure accepting the lack of balance in their lives but in the end felt their struggles were the best tool to teach the other parents.
“So many people have this image of success that is based on having the perfect balance of family, work and social life that is really fed by movies, advertisements and things like Instagram that is really just a myth,” Rachel said. “What we’re here to tell the parents tonight is that it’s really a question of how you manage the imbalance in your life to address whatever the most pressing issues are at the moment. You can’t have it all so you have to chose the things you value and live by those.”
The evening consisted of large group discussions led by the Edwardses as well as smaller group sessions later in the night.
According to Rachel, the younger parents she meets are better at accepting the idea of sacrificing some aspects of their lives for stability, largely because she believes the younger generations grew up amid a lot of chaos. However, she noted that the generation also suffers because they tend to compare themselves to others more and suffer from a sense of discontent, further exacerbated by social media.
“I would argue that the kind of balance people try to seek isn’t even biblical,” she said. “As Christians we look to the Bible for answers on how to live our lives, and the Bible is full of stories of imbalance. In the end it’s about going back to prioritizing truth and love as your baseline and working from there.”