Let’s face it, if you’re a working mama, there’s just not enough time in the day. That was true when I was off work as a new mom with a 3 week old newborn, and it’s ridiculously true now, with our crazy business, chaos of 4 kids (all 4 and under) and all sorts of activities and commitments.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m so ON! The older boys are happy, and off to school on time, the hubs and I get to start our workday chatting over our coffee, and the twins are playing and utilizing their developmental activity sets while we handle emails and conference calls, (This maybe happens like ONE day in a month!) But let’s face it, most of time I feel like I’m drowning because there just isn’t enough time in this life for a lot of things in general. Even for my 88 year old Pops. He has lived a FULL and valuable life. My grandmother and him have explored and traveled the world many times over, even going to Asia again last year following 2 strokes. The man just doesn’t want to stop. Because the time of this life for all of us is so short.
How do we find balance in it all? As mamas, working, loving, being partners, doing mom crafts, being friends, posting to social media, growing businesses, keeping up with our own health, plucking our eyebrows in between waxes, feeling and looking good, all while trying not to fail or end a day full of mom guilt and stress over everyday financial demands, not to mention those extra things for the magic of kid life, all the while, attempting to not lose ourselves. Lets be honest- “balance” of chaos does not exist. Multitasking is a huge joke. We think we do it as moms, but really what we are doing is giving 30% effort to a million things and not giving 100% to anything one thing. As a a perfectionist and competitive person, I have a really hard time with that.
I’m writing this on my laptop at my older boy’s gymnastic class. Today, I’m THAT mom, because today there just simply wasn’t enough time to get things checked off my list. I mean, I had about 27 priority things and maybe 3 of them were accomplished. THREE. I’ll definitely be pulling a night shift tonight. So guess what? I’m not watching them do gymnastics. Yup. After a year of these I’m buried in my laptop for myself and not watching them walk the balance beam or jump a million times. (I don’t feel bad now, but I’m sure I will later- thanks mom guilt.)
It’s hard not to feel “less than stellar” (as my husband likes to say), when I’m sitting among the makeup clad, hair done, casually strolling in moms with cute yoga attire. I’m not cute right now. I look exactly like my day went. My hair is in a knot on top of my head- and not the cute mom bun kind, but more so the kind that looks like I was in some sort of physical altercation with a dog and a vacuum kind. I have leggings that are so faded and nasty I need to throw them out. And I grabbed the first sweater I could find running out the door that I discovered while sitting here has a great big puke stain down the left shoulder. OH YEAH! I’m rockin this #momlife thing right now!
I always try to reign in my expectations and judgements on myself at the beginning of each month. I look back and evaluate the previous month’s accomplishments and write a whole plan and encouraging entry for myself into my gratitude journal. As the month goes on, the to-do lists get more and more added to them and I commit and over-commit way too much. There is a lot of time in the day, but I have to be careful and specific with how I spend that time.
Here are some ways I reign it in:
- I take 5 minutes of time, (even if babies are crying and in need), to write in my gratitude journal. I write all the things I’m grateful for. Some days that’s super easy and some days I only come up with “the kids have fully bellies and I have gas in the car to take them to school.” (Seriously tho. some days are HARD. I get it). But what I have found is that the more consistent I am with it, and more I dedicate to it, the easier it is to find lots of things to be grateful for.
- I say NO a lot more than I ever thought I would, and I’m a “yes” girl. If I find myself hesitating to say yes, I go ahead and say no, and I really can’t think of a time yet that I’ve regretted it. At the end of the day too many commitments that I can’t fully accomplish just stress me out.
- I squeeze my kids, and my husband a too much. Like everyone is annoyed. But I know that in addition to releasing Oxytocin, hugs also stimulate the brain to release the pleasure hormone dopamine. So, you’re welcome Carr Clan. And let’s face it, I have 3 boys. One day, far sooner than I’d like, they will definitely not be cool with me snuggling them and hugging them like crazy. My husband on the other hand will just have to deal.
So get a little blank notebook, write a few things that are great about your life right now. Say no to the after school playdate today, go home and hug the ones you love. There’s just not enough time to be wasting.