She stood there on the stage, gorgeous summer dress, jean jacket and the most amazing pair of cowboy boots I’ve ever seen. Being from Texas, I have quiet the appreciation for a good pair of boots, and her’s where AMAZING. Her hair perfectly styled, not a flyaway in sight, and makeup done to perfection.
She was the kind of woman I shy away from. Intimidating in her perfection.
This woman had it all together. She glided across the stage talking about her accomplished family, her successful business, and her ability to find big chunks of time just for her.
She was a vision of perfection. The mother who had it all.
I sat in the audience enthralled, hanging on her every word, questions running through my mind. How does she do it all?
I vacillated between awe, jealousy, and frustration.
I’m just a normal mother, normal blogger, nothing to be admired or emulated, just a normal every day Mom trying to get by. There’s no way that perfect Mom ever yelled at her kids or fell down crying in the bathroom after a soul crushing morning with her kids.
In my mind, she strolled through life without a care in the world.
Except she didn’t.
As she told her story, my opinion about this infallible woman changed. Word by word her walls came crumbling down. Her soul shined through and I saw her for the woman she is. A woman a lot like me.
There are moments, moments in all of our lives that are forever emblazoned on our hearts. Moments that change your life. Moments that steer you just a bit off your course and completely change your path. This was one of those moments.
I sat at the edge of my seat captivated by every word as this woman told her hard truth. She told her story of how passed out and ended up with a broken cheekbone because she was working too hard, not sleeping, and not taking care of herself.
As she spoke, her words flew across the room and smacked me right in the face. Tears welled up in my eyes.
At that moment I knew something had to change. I needed to find a way to live my life so that I could not only be present with my family, but with my passions as well. I needed time for self-care.
Until this point in my life, I was working myself into a nub of a person. I was getting up early and working late.
Throughout my days, I worked on my computer while I pseudo-parented my two young boys. I ran from activity to activity without giving myself space to relax.
I spent time with my husband with a computer nestled into my lap, ignoring his presence.
All this hard work did nothing but turn me into a resentful, unfulfilled, and angry parent. I was a shell of the person I once was. I was in a Mom Funk.
I no longer enjoyed playing or laughing with my children, I didn’t make space for long talks with my husband. Me time was a waste of time.
Chills ran up my spine when I realized that it could be me on the floor of that bathroom, if something didn’t change.
This was not the kind of life I wanted to live. My family deserved a better version of me…heck I deserved a better version of me.
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That was 2.5 years ago and I’m proud to say that I turned things around. By making a few changes to how I manage my life, I’m capable of doing everything I want to do and still have time for me.
“If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no”
Notice in my previous sentence I said “I’m capable of doing everything I want to do.” WANT…That right there is the key.
I had to get better at pairing down my work and social life. In order to do that, I had to decide what really matters any only focus on that.
I live by the statement, “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no”.
Anytime someone asks something of me, I ask myself this quick question. If I don’t instantly jump and say “Hell yes, I want do that!” then I say no.
This one phrase helps me make the best decisions that I can without sacrificing my family, work or self time. Since I’m only saying yes to things that make me feel happy and fulfilled, I’m living a happier and more fulfilled life.
I’m no longer cluttering up my time with obligations and things I don’t want to do.
Unfortunately, there will always be obligations and chores...these dishes ain’t going to wash themselves...but if someone asks me to something outside of my obligations to family or work, I have to consider if it’s worth my time or money. This phrase keeps me focused on what’s really important in my life.
“You CAN do it all…you just can’t do it all at the same time.”
I can be a wonderful mother, a successful business owner/worker, a fantastic wife, a helpful volunteer, an involved PTA parent.
I just can’t do it all at the same time.
I am no longer shooting for balance, the goal is to be present.
Be there…whatever I’m doing be there.
When I’m with my kids I stop and focus on them.
When I’m working I stop and focus on work.
When I’m with my husband I stop and focus on us.
When I’m with my friends I stop and focus on friendship.
I stop. I focus. I am present.
Keep A List
Even though I try to be present, my brain doesn’t always work that way.
It’s not abnormal for me to be hit with inspiration for a great blog post when I’m hanging with my kids. Or for me to remember something I need to do for my family while I’m working.
Instead of stopping what I’m doing, I write it down and put it away for later. I keep a list on my phone or in my handy dandy notebook that’s always close by. I know the idea is written down and I know I’ll have the time to work on it later.
I get little lightbulb moments throughout my day, and I know I wouldn’t remember most of them if I didn’t write them down somewhere.
Lists can be your friend, my friend.
So when do we get to that list?
The hands down, best thing I ever did was set work hours for myself.
It helps me be present with my kids and family because I know that I have set aside hours in my day to work. I don’t have to worry about finding the time to get things done.
Even if you don’t work from home like I do, it’s still important to have time that you focus on certain tasks. Instead of paying bills between wiping noses, making lunches, and breaking up sibling fighting, find time where you can sit and focus on doing that one thing.
When we’re constantly distracted, important tasks fall through the cracks. We think we paid that bill, but are we sure?
You don’t need hours, just a few minutes here and there will do.
Don’t end up on the bathroom floor with a broken cheek. Make changes now, so you can become the BEST version of YOU!
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