Welcome back! Last week, we talked about accepting yourself for the mom you are. Hopefully, you’ve been tracking your Momcomplishments and are starting to give yourself credit for all the ways you’re a great mom. This week, we’re sharing some ideas to help you free up some time and play to your strengths.
Have you ever wished you had more time in a day? We’ve all been there, some of us many times each week. Sadly, we only get 24 hours in a day and we are under constant pressure to fit it all in. When we can’t, which is often (because we’re human), we feel like failures.
We’re not going to tell you stop trying. Instead, we suggest that you embrace the idea that good enough is good enough. You don’t need to be perfect or put in heroic effort for everything you do.
You play a lot of roles in life – mom, wife/partner, coworker/employee/manager/CEO, daughter, sister, friend, classroom parent, neighbor, carpool driver – the list goes on and on. Let’s do some math. If you feel pressure to be fully present, involved, and putting in your all for each of these roles, how does that add up? Giving 100% to 100% of your roles 100% of the time equals exhaustion, resentment, anger, disappointment, and eventually, you falling apart.
Today, we’re talking about some areas where it’s 100% ok to give waaaaay less than 100%. Guess what? Some of those areas involve your kids. Shocking, we know. Here’s the thing, if you stay up all night baking 500 cupcakes and frosting them to Pinterest perfection for your child’s bake sale, what’s going to happen? Is your child going to sing your praises to anyone who will listen? Will this go down as the single greatest day of his life? Will the PTO hoist you on their shoulders and parade you around the school as their hero? HA! Yeah, right.
Here’s what really happens: You’ll start the next day sleep deprived, kicking yourself for staying up so late. Your child may notice the cupcakes and be really excited, which will make you feel great for about 10 seconds, until you look at the clock and realize you’re all running late. You’ll then start shouting at the kids to hurry up. You’ll race them to school, shove the cupcakes into the teacher’s hands and race to work. You’ll show up late, get yelled at by your boss, then feel guilty enough to stay late. By the time you get home, no one will be done with their homework, dinner will be late, and things will be in a state of chaos. And that sweet, sweet child you stayed up all night making cupcakes for will have a tantrum to end all tantrums. At that point, YOU. WILL. LOSE. IT. This will include lots of yelling, your kids going to bed upset, and you feeling resentful that nothing you do is ever appreciated while also feeling guilty for losing it, then telling yourself that you’re the worst mom ever. Yikes!
Now, hopefully it won’t be as bad as all that, but at least some of those elements probably sound familiar. So, were those 500 perfect cupcakes worth it? If you said yes, then you can stop reading here. We probably can’t help you. But, if you’re reading this and saying, “500 cupcakes?!! You’re out of your mind!” - keep reading because we’ve got something for you.
It’s time to start thinking about some life hacks. We’re not talking about slacking off and not caring. We’re talking about figuring out when good enough is good enough. Remember our equation? You can’t do everything to the best of your ability all the time. So, why not think of ways to save yourself time and energy and, more importantly, give yourself permission to stop being Superwoman.
Sticking with the 500 cupcakes example, there are some ways this task could be easier. First, does it have to be 500 cupcakes? Could it be 50? Also, do you have to bake them yourself or could you just pick some up from the supermarket or local bakery? If you’re having a particularly stressful week when the cupcakes are needed, do you have to bring anything, or can you just donate money? If you don’t have time to bake, but you can free up time in the morning, can you help with set-up? See where we’re going here? There are always alternatives.
It’s ok to find more efficient ways of doing things. This applies to parenting, but also to other areas of your life. If you need some help coming up with your own life hacks, check out our Do This, Not That Worksheet. Have fun with it and remember, it’s all about making your life easier so you can show up for the things are truly important to you.
Start looking for the easy way! You've got this!
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Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.