Being a busy mom isn’t connected to having a full time job. Even if you work part time, from home, or you’re a stay at home mom, it’s very easy to get dragged into a daily rhythm of GO GO GO. At the end of the day you feel like you haven’t “achieved” that one thing you wanted to do, you feel you haven’t “really enjoyed” your precious time with the kids and you delay all your goals/ plans again and again day/month/year after the other. Sounds familiar?
The answer is; Don’t try to do it all!
If you agreed to do everything you’re asked to do; going to every outing your invited for, giving extra unplanned time for extended family/ friends, pleasing everyone at work, doing small tasks to help just because your boss asked you to, setting poor limits or no limits to your daily schedule will definitely leave you drained, busy, unfocused and not satisfied with your achievements as a parent, a business owner/employee and as a person.
In this fast moving modern world we are constantly expected to take on more responsibilities, more work, and continue to attempt to climb to the top.
This goes for homeschooling, momming, working, socializing and plenty of other areas in life. There are lots of instances to realize we can say no because NO, we can’t do it all.
So whether you have found yourself in stressful situations, realized that your daily life is chaotic and you want to learn a thing or two about managing that stress and holding onto any semblance of a work/life/self improvement/ mental health balance, here are few things that real mums who have been in the same situation and took themselves gradually out of it and finally allowed them to maximize their time to calmly build their new businesses, grow their career, enjoyed their time with the kids and be the mom they want for their children.
Learn the art of saying No:
When you feel like you’re juggling too much and you start having that anxious feeling in your stomach, the only way to get back in the life routine you want is to set boundaries and take control of your life. How, you ask?
When to say yes; when it aligns with your own routine as a person, your values and your family.
Say yes when you REALLY want to put that amount of time and energy into it that it will bring you either joy, calmness, add something to your skills or your kids personalities.
So take a few moments to yourself before agreeing or volunteering to do anything in order to decide that you are sacrificing more than you’re getting out of it or not. Is it good for your mental health? Is it good for your physical health? Does it go along fine with your schedule and your family’s?
Ways to say no without feeling awkward, practice the following:
- At work; I can’t promise to commit to this project as I currently have other main job priorities. Maybe my colleague can help in this, she/he is just amazing at it.
- At home/work; I’m sorry, I’m in the middle of something, let’s have a chat tomorrow afternoon let me know what time works for you.
- At work; I bet X team would love to help you with this, but I’m not the right person for the task.
- At home; I’m already committed with my family, it’s a shame I cant be there with you in this.
- At work; I’d be happy to contribute to this project , but that means I won’t be able to focus on the one I’m working on at the moment. Which would you like me to prioritize?
- At home: That’s so sweet of you to ask, but we already have plans that day.
- At home: Thank you so much for thinking of me, but this doesn’t fit my work/kids schedule. We can catch up over the weekend.
Setting boundaries and not going all in for everything that comes up will put you in control of your career, your house, your kids routine and day flow. so eventually you will have a better daily life that you’re more satisfied with. It’s mostly controlled by you and goes along well with your family time, values, work and preferred routine.
Focus on small moments of joy:
Accept that you’ll have a season for everything at its most convenient time. You will find it less difficult to set things aside if they are not in season.
Start taking deep breaths more frequently and feel gratitude, feel the love and positivity you get from small things in life, your kids laughter, kisses and silliness. Enjoy that cup of tea, that yoga class, that long shower. Enjoy the meal you share with your husband/friend/kids/mom/relative.
Once you embrace your motherhood, focus on the joyful moments, your blessings and keep them in the back of your mind all the time. You will slowly feel more content, calm and will affect every aspect of your life positively.
Stop comparing. Believe in every decision you take for yourself and for your family.
Let the following sentences sink in:
- “I do life in my favorite way at a slower pace than a lot of people and I’m okay with that.”
- “I’m trying my best not to juggle things that are less important and have less positive effect on my life”
- “I’m proud of the way i’m handling my routine right now and i’m working on perfecting it the way I like”
- “We’re really trying to prioritize family time right now. The years are going by too fast!”
- “I’ve been so stressed lately, so I’m trying to do things differently now.”
- “I’m working on being more comfortable in where I am at work or at home .”
- “I’m prioritizing my family and an important project at work, so I have limited hours to dedicate on X”
- “I love how my house feels like home to me and my family, I’m working on keeping it our safe sanctuary”
Rise above your “busyness” to become productive & to give more time to what matters the most to you:
Pick any two things randomly from below, any two. (You’re probably going to pick either what’s your giving the least or most time to)
- Marriage (Love if you’re dating or single)
- Extended family
- Your Passion/Dreams
- Alone time
- Making/managing Money
- Spiritual health
Now that you picked two, put them against each other and decide which one wins!
For example; Every time you had a conflict between X and Y. which one of them wins?
Whatever wins is the one you are giving the most energy to. The one that loses is probably always in the back of your mind and giving you that guilt feeling.
Now try choosing different combinations and repeat that exercise. You’ll get more figured out.
The outcome should be YOU, consciously deciding to give more to what you’ve been postponing, and less to what always wins. That doesn’t mean you have to replace them with one another, it just means that you have to practice prioritizing, and allowing yourself to give more to what makes you less stressed. This is the closest you can get to life balance.
Impossibly High Standards
Lower the bar for yourself, As a modern mom you demand so much from yourself and not from anyone else. Don’t try so hard to be the employee of the year, the trophy wife, the super mother, the number one business owner.
It’s Okay to give less to some things as long as they will survive to be able to do other things peacefully and give time for yourself the way you love.
Forgive yourself. Your expectations for yourself are the highest, so give yourself a break.
Have the courage to CHANGE things
Try things as simple as changing your lunch spot at work, or as complex as changing your circle of friends. Change the way you dress, declutter your home or renovate it… and the list goes on from small things to bigger things. Each of them takes time and effort, but by changing you’ll discover more about yourself, and how to love it more!