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Maybe the Balance is Found in the Dance

By Clare Ogle, an MHS Houseparent

“Mom guilt” is everywhere. Social media, magazines, you name it—it’s out there. Am I doing enough for my children and our students? Am I doing too much for them? Is my house too clean? Or not clean enough? Are my children well-mannered?

Sometimes, it can be so difficult to find balance. And maybe that’s where I need to change my perspective. Maybe it’s not a scale that needs to be balanced, but rather learning how to dance to an ever-changing tempo.

Some days my parents or in-laws help with our children, James (5) and Titus (18 months).  My children love the extra time with their grandparents, and Will and I love being able to focus on the guys in our student home. Other days, most of the guys are out of the house busy with activities and we have more time to play with James and Titus. And then there are days where we all do things together. Yes, there are days when it’s crazy, but they are far less frequent than you might imagine.

My children also benefit from growing up in a student home on the MHS campus.

Family in front of house

First of all, even if they don’t get us all to themselves, they get to see us pretty much all the time. And that is a gift. I know it won’t be long before they see this as less of a gift, so we’re trying to enjoy it now before they grow into teenagers.

My kids are also learning how to wait. It’s wonderful to be able to teach them how to wait for mommy, daddy, the guys, the end of the game, the end of dinner, etc. It’s okay for them to wait; in fact, it’s good for them to wait.

I also love that my children are growing up surrounded by diversity. This is one of the things I love most about MHS, and it’s near and dear to my heart since our children are adopted. We have multiple races and cultures represented in our student home and across campus.

And finally, my children are growing up knowing that other people matter. They are realizing at an early age that it’s important to give back to others. It’s important to be thankful for what you have.

There are so many other benefits and it’s important to take the time to recognize them. Some nights the music we dance to may be fast-paced and we’re thankful to make time for one quick bedtime story. But other nights, the music is soft and sweet. We have time to read numerous stories or play games, and it’s wonderful.

While we may never be able to find a true balance, it’s not impossible to dance and have a good time.

Family photo outside

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.