I had bought into the dream of literally having it all at every moment of the day, and I was the one who suffered the most from that illusion. It is practically impossible to “do it all” or “have it all” without sacrificing something. Something always has to give. No matter how much help you get, you’re still only one you, and that’s a good thing. So, what to do? Be present.
When I’m at work, I am only at work. I pour my heart and soul into making the time as productive as I possibly can. I’m critical of my work day and the time I spend on various tasks. I consider what can genuinely be delegated to play to the strengths of others, so I can use my strengths to go further with more precision and less effort.
When I get home, I turn work off. I stay off my phone scrolling Instagram and emails until after my little one goes to sleep, and then I try to intentionally think of something I can do to connect with my husband for a moment before we’re both off getting ready for the next day at work. The time we have is so precious, and my little one has made it clear that his love language is made up of quality time and cuddles. Mommy has to deliver.
I am an ambitious professional, so I have to be determined not to check emails before little man goes to sleep. Social media is so much a part of our work now as well, so it’s easy to pour a little too much time into it. Instead, I know that my social media/last call for emails will have a dedicated 30 minutes (sometimes an hour) as soon as the baby goes to sleep. It has made a difference in our family connection as well as my efforts to work smarter not harder.
Here are some of the things I push myself to do in order to maintain my focus on the present instead of the dozens of things vying for my attention:
You do a lot exceptionally well, but you do not have to do all of it at the same time. Allow others to support your efforts with activities that play to their strengths. You’ll spend less time doing the things that are genuinely your strengths with a much better result.
This is different than delegation. Don’t let others guilt you into thinking that you have to do everything on your own. Being a full-time parent and a full-time career woman are just the state of affairs these days. What is going to get you through is getting some support – paid or otherwise. Think of what you have available in the budget to help you go the distance with your sanity intact. Or perhaps consider what favors you can call in from a family member, friend or that sweet lady at church who just loves your kids.
Times are hard Mommy. Know when your breaks are coming so you can push through to the finish line – or Tuesday. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, so give yourself something to look forward to. You need time for you. I’m learning that everyone and everything in my life needs boundaries (including my career and my sweet family), so I can flourish and be my best.
Rest is your friend. I think I’m on the comeback trail now that my little one is consistently sleeping through the night (barring teething pains, stuffy noses and all that). You’re never going to get it all done, and that is quite alright. Have some faith for tomorrow. It will all work out. Get some rest. You’ll have a greater chance of rising the next day with a new perspective and a fresh set of eyes on the day’s challenges.
MommiNation is an incredible way to stay connected to other women who are in the highs and lows of motherhood right along with you. No one has all the answers (a serious side-eye to those who think they do), but you can get a load off knowing that someone else actually understands. Whether you’re married or single (or feel single), talking to other moms will make you feel sane again, and you’ll probably pick up some helpful tips along the way.
Until next time,