It seems that my fellow mom friends, me included, take on so much. Most of us have a fulltime job, whether it’s staying at home or working. With my corporate job, a website, freelance writing and oh yes, motherhood how do I fit this all in one day? I don’t know about you, but there have been days that I have simply been wiped out trying to make it all work. I have only so much to give and I am realizing I need to give it all in the right places. Trying to do it all makes me miserable. Instead I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself to be able to take care of my child. Part of that means following these “rules” to help me stay sane.
I’m realistic about what I can do. I have seen some of the most organized women I know lose their sh*t when becoming new moms. While it’s true that there are those moms who are on track and ready to go after baby is born, most are like me, and have to learn the art of organization. Part of being organized is taking on only what you can handle. I have learned the hard way that it’s not the end of the world when you have to scale back in order to keep your sanity. For example, at the beginning of the school year I found myself near tears as I tried to do my job, work on my personal blog, volunteer in the library at my son’s school, and tend to my family in the evenings. I had to make some changes in what I could commit to, and that was OK.
I stay away from toxic people. Stay away from the snarky mom at the park. You want her to like you? Get over it; you need to take care of you. By weeding out the people who zap your energy, you’ll make things easier for yourself. Which is always the goal here — be your own cheerleader. And trust me, you’ll eventually meet the fellow mom you‘ll end up having a lasting connection with (I did!). By not spending your evening texting back and forth with some high-maintenance friend, you’ll free up you time for the things, and people, that matter in your life. And the right group of mom friends can sometimes make or break your day. Rather than compete with you, they will support you. And all moms need some support.
I ask for help when I need it. When I was struggling with how to juggle it all (see #1), I turned to two of the other volunteers at my son’s school library for help. Both of them are stay at home moms, and they’re happy to step in when I’m feeling overwhelmed. And I pay it forward by helping my friends when their partners are out of town, either by running an errand for them or baking something that they can enjoy with their kids after dinner. Once you start asking for help you will be genuinely surprised at how happy others are to help. I was.
I count on advice from those who have been there. I have found the best advice comes from my fellow mom friends, from how they manage their time to how they manage expectations from others.