I can’t tell you how many times I use to scroll through Instagram or Facebook and think to myself, “man, so many other moms sure seem to “do it all.” Then I would start to wonder how. How are they able to follow their dreams, have a career, keep up their house, maintain their marriage, spend quality time with their kids, take amazing photos to post to their social media accounts, make healthy amazing looking meals, work out regularly, build friendships, and somehow hold onto a strong and unshakable relationship with God. How?
For me it wasn’t just overwhelming, but it seemed impossible. That is until I realized it’s all an illusion. A big, fat, shame filled illusion that is lying to mom after mom after mom and making us all feel ashamed and inferior.
No One Does it All… NO ONE!
Here’s the thing, no one, and I mean no one, does it all. I promise. I’m even talking about those influencers and celebrities you follow on Instagram. None of them do it all. The reason they look that good in their photos is because they have a stylist who helps them pick out outfits. They have social media manages who are helping them manage and style each and every post. They have chefs or personal cooks who come in and make their family meals. So, trust me, they don’t do it all.
Now don’t get me wrong. None of that stuff I just listed out is a bad thing. You can bet your butt that if I could afford it I would, without a doubt, hire someone to come into my home and cook my family’s dinners as well as teach me how to be a better cook. I’d even hire someone to go shopping with me because nowadays I walk into a clothing store and my anxiety is through the roof. I have no idea what styles look good together or how in the world to dress my body type. I want to dress cute, but I don’t know how. So, if I could afford to pay someone to help me accomplish that I would in a heartbeat.
The thing I want you to realize is that they have help. In some way shape or form, they have help. End of story. There’s no way that a person, especially a celebrity, can do it all without having the help of others around them. The same goes for you. Yes, I do understand that their access to help is probably a bit easier than what it is for you and I, but help is help no matter what it looks like.
If you want to take some night classes and you have kids, then you need to find some help watching or caring for your littles while you are at class or studying, even if that help comes from your spouse. If you want to be a better cook, then you’re going to have to hire someone to teach you or to watch your kids while you attend cooking classes. If you want to start a career, then you may need help by finding someone who can watch your kids while you’re gone or even hire a cleaning service to come to your home every other week.
Help is help, no matter if it’s from a hired chef or stylist, from your husband taking on more household chores or hours of solo parenting kid duty, or ordering your groceries online and letting someone else do the shopping for you. Let me say that again. Help is help no matter what it looks like or who it comes from. Accept it, appreciate it, and stop trying to do everything on your own.
Stressed & Overwhelmed
If you can’t let go of some control and allow others to help you, then it’s going to leave you exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed. Wanting to be a better person in multiple areas of your life as well as chasing after your dreams isn’t a bad thing, but you have to understand that if you can’t pick and choose what’s most important for this current season of your life and relinquish some control by asking for help, then you’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed while ultimately not really moving forward.
In my post “Why You Shouldn’t Set New Year’s Resolutions” I talk about how to set goals and focus on 1 area of your life at a time. You can go read it for a more in-depth explanation, but in a nut shell it says to focus on one area of your life (business, health, family ect.) and give it your all. Doing this will in turn have a positive effect in the other areas of your life. Once you master that area by either reaching your goal or doing it so much it has turned into an ingrained habit then move on to a different area.
Let the Little Things Go
Like I said before, when it comes to goals you need to focus on one big area of your life at a time. This means that you will need to find the things that don’t matter to you and drop them like a bad habit. Is there a mom group you attend that isn’t really doing anything for you? Stop going. Need to save money so you can hire a babysitter once a week? Stop buying your morning latte and now you can afford the babysitter. Does it annoy you to have your husband fold the laundry because he does it wrong? Get over it.
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Stop stressing over the little things or worrying that you may hurt someone’s feelings because you need to take some stuff off your plate. Those who really care about you will understand and be supportive, the ones that don’t probably shouldn’t be a part of your life anyway. Sounds a little harsh, I know, but it’s the truth.
Having your life all in balance is another one of those myths that tricks you into believing you can do it all when in reality it’s just another illusion. Balance is something that is always changing. Some seasons you will need to give more time and attention to your kids than your career or dreams while other seasons you may have to put your dreams on hold or you may get to run full force after them. Every season of life for every person is going to look different so the only way to find true balance is to work within your current season of life and embrace what it brings.
When my second daughter was born we were living in a 250sq foot fifth wheel 45 minutes from the main town. For the first 6 months of her life we had multiple doctor, therapy, and nursing appointments every single week. This meant there was little to no room to add anything extra onto my plate. After she was a year old and we moved into a normal house, things started to slow down, and I was able to shift my focus. This new season allowed me to pour a lot of time and energy into starting this blog and going after my dreams.
Even though I wasn’t chasing after my goals during her first year of life, I was still right where I needed to be. For that season my balance didn’t include pouring into my dreams, but that’s ok. If I would have tried to add more to my already hectic life it would have left me 10x more stressed and worn-out than I already was. I know we all wish there was this magical pie chart that broke up how much time and energy we should put into all the different areas of our life every day. I’m sure it would look something like the graphic below.
Unfortunately, these dreams of balance and being able to do it all are just big, fat, harry unrealistic myths that are demeaning to mom’s everywhere. If you have dreams and goals in life chase them but remember you can’t do it all so ask for help, let the little things go, and find your balance for the season of life you are in and work within that.