Did you ever read the book I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson? It’s about a working mother trying to balance her career with family and all the obligations that go along with both. And she practically drives herself mad doing it. But it’s true. We, as working mothers, feel as though we need to be everything to everyone. I frequently get asked how I get it all done. Here are a few of my secrets for getting it all done with out losing your mind. (Hint: “all” is a relative term.)
I don’t have cleaning ladies, or a chef, or a chauffer. My husband travels 3-4 days a week for work. I am a blogger, interior decorator, school volunteer, wife, mother, and every other subcategory that goes in there. I don’t tell you this to get you to pat me on the back. I tell you this because I am just like you. I am busy, and tired, but most of all, I want to succeed. In everything. And the struggle is real. I know that you know that.
This year I have committed to more than I have ever committed to in my life. And I am super happy. Yes, I have bad days where I just want to crawl back into bed and make it all stop, but most days I am excited to live my life. Here’s why. I have learned to say no.
I repeat: I have learned to say no.
I say no to things that do not make me happy. I no longer paint furniture for anyone but myself because it was taking time away from my family on the weekends. I don’t go out to dinner during the week very often because it causes me to be tired the next day and then I am unhappy. (I need sleep!) I don’t ever work nights or weekends. Those are reserved for my personal time, however I want to spend it. I just say no.
Getting it “all” done is impossible. Learn to accept that. You are human, not a superhero.
That is another little tip that has taken me a lot of time to figure out and accept. It’s OK if the cookies for the school bake sale are store bought and not home made. (Just don’t tell anyone.) So you pull the cleanest pair of socks out of the hamper for your kid to wear because you haven’t had time to do the laundry. It’s not hurting anyone, is it? And nobody has to know.
You have to know your limitations and plan accordingly.
An hour is only 60 minutes and a minute is only 60 seconds. There is only so much that you can get done in that time. Plan your time well and you will be able to accomplish your tasks. I could not live without my Day Designer. It is a truly life changing planner that has a spot for everything. But you don’t need that specific planner to plan your days well. There are plenty of printables and other planners out there that could work perfectly for you. The key is knowing what you need to get done and how much time you have to do it.
You are amazing because of all you do. Never forget that. We, as working mothers, can get it all done and be fulfilled. We just have to know our limitations, say no and accept that we are human. We will make mistakes and forget stuff, we will goof up and get frustrated. But in the end, everything works out. Just remember that and you won’t lose your mind.