I’ll admit, I generally avoid typical “mom blog” topics when I write posts. Not that I don’t think they have a legitimacy, but because I feel like most of them have been discussed so much over the years that there’s nothing new to bring to the table.
…until I run into one of those topics in real life.
Lately, I have been hardcore struggling with the working/parenting/cooking/house-cleaning/wife-ing facets of my life. (Let’s not even discuss the minivan. I at least got a few trash bags out there this morning.)
I can’t get it all done. I just can’t. Can’t do it. Nope.
Enter, the “Supermom” blog post, right? “Ladies, you don’t have to be Supermom!”
If you ask me, those posts aren’t terribly helpful. We all know that Supermom doesn’t exist. We all know that even someone who looks like Supermom is surely struggling (or at least taking some short-cuts) in a less-visible part of her life.
Unless she’s not. Unless she’s not. There’s always going to be that little shred of you that says, “I should totally have that giant mountain of laundry folded,” as you type feverishly at the computer while you wait for your whole-grain low-sugar pumpkin muffins to finish baking.
So, instead of lamenting our lack of robot-mom abilities, let’s work on being okay with it, and being as functional as possible, shall we? I say “we” because I have in no way gotten this all figured out… and will be doing my best to practice what I preach.
What is stressing you out the most?
Is it laundry? Is it paying the bills? Is it work? Whatever it is, figure it out and make it a priority. All of the little things in life seem to grow in size when you’ve got a looming deadline or a big project that needs finishing. The simple act of crossing something off of your list can bring huge amounts of relief, and set the stage for productivity in other areas of your life.
For me, it’s deadlines. Each week there’s always that one article… the one that takes the most research or creativity, and I stress about it. I give it little project milestones… I come up with reasons for waiting, and I don’t feel better until I finally just force myself to sit down and do it.
And once I finally get it done? I feel like I could join a musical number in which I harmonize with small, animated woodland creatures… which isn’t usually part of my personality, so that’s kind of a big deal.
What simply isn’t worth your stress?
Not your mom’s stress, not that lady across the street’s stress, not the other mom at drop-off with the bigger house than yours’ stress. Yours.
There are simply going to be things you can’t take care of, and the only way to avoid beating yourself up about it is to remind yourself of the stuff you do take care of. There are most likely things you care deeply about and work your butt off to achieve, and that is pretty freaking awesome… don’t’ forget about those things.
I’m going to get real honest here. For me, it’s deep-cleaning. I’m talking about scrubbing the nooks and crannies on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis, and I know that some people are gasping in horror right now, and that’s okay.
My thing? I have a very picky kindergartner and a bad-ass case of poor-quality-diet-anxiety.
Seriously, if my anxiety over produce pesticides and food dyes were trapped inside Thunderdome with my fear of dirty mirrors, that fight would be over before it even got started.
So, I spend a good chunk of my time making kale chips and low-sugar pumpkin muffins. (Stop making that face, guys.) If I tried to fit that in with, say, a regular oven-cleaning schedule, my brain would explode. (Kale chips are a lot more work than I realized.)
So. Let’s just give ourselves the permission to say, “Yeah… I’m not going to worry about that.” And move on to my next point, which is:
Admit that you probably need to work on a few things.
I don’t want my previous section to be confused with “things you really need to do but don’t want to,” because that’s what this section’s about. What I’m referring to here are the things that are essential to everyday functioning… but really suck to deal with.
There are certain important things in my house that I simply cannot get in the swing of. Dishes, for one. With all of the ridiculous cooking that I do, I make a lot of dishes. We also use a lot of dishes. Logic points to the idea that I should be good at getting all of my dishes washed in a timely fashion.
I am not.
I am, however, working on that… because when I do have an empty sink, I get that same woodland-creature-musical-number feeling that I get when I knock out a deadline. That’s probably a good sign that it’s important.
There’s nothing wrong with working on yourself… it’s the being too hard on yourself that starts to weigh you down.
What about you? What inspires you to duet with a bluebird?
What can you literally not even bring yourself to worry about?
… it’s making kale chips, isn’t it?
I figured. That’s okay.