After reading Petula Dvorak’s March 14 Metro column, “Welcome to Overwhelmia, Overwhelmed moms,” I was struck by a concept that is mostly absent from discussion on this topic: a woman’s sense of balance in life.

Each person must define what balance is for her; it is not one-size-fits-all. It’s also something that we must strive for continually. Women, in general, need to be better about drawing boundaries for themselves and putting themselves higher on their list of priorities. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, nobody else will. Part of this process is defining the “nonnegotiables.” For me, getting regular exercise and decent sleep are nonnegotiables. I have defined these things as important, and they help me be at my best to manage my busy life and maintain my sanity most of the time.

What effect will our choices have on our children in the long run? I don’t think they’ll remember an activity they participated in, a class they took or whether they brought in a birthday treat to share with classmates in a given year. I do think, however, that they will remember the overall mood in their homes.

Sarah Creel, Fairfax