By Brittney Stefanic
Isn’t it crazy the pressure we put on ourselves as moms? We feel like we have to do #allthethings, #allthetime. We feel like we have to be good at everything we do. And worst of all… We are overcome by the filthy feeling of “mom guilt” if we drop any of the balls we are juggling.
Society has set us up to be busy whether we work from home, work out of the home, work as a stay at home mom, or combine any of the above. As if that societal pressure isn’t enough, we hold ourselves to even higher standards and push even more towards perfection. Social media certainly plays a role in these benchmarks, yet no matter how hard we try, we can’t pull ourselves away from the grids, the new feeds and the updates.
What I’ve learned as a busy mom
I could write all day about the struggles that we are up against as moms in the millennial world, but rather than focus on the challenges and setbacks that I’ve experienced, I’ve created a list the most important things that I’ve learned as a busy mom myself.
Top 5 takeaways for busy moms:
- It’s okay to say no
- It’s all a bit easier if you are organized
- It’s healthy to set boundaries
- It’s acceptable to ask for help
- It’s possible to have it all
It’s okay to say no
If you are anything like me, you have lived a life of saying yes. Sometimes you say yes because you want to. Other times you say yes because you feel like you have to. And still other times you say yes because you would hate to find out what it felt like to say no.
With a family who needs me, a business that requires a lot of attention, and a need for my own self-care, I have learned pretty quickly that the word “no” and I need to become much more comfortable with each other.
I no longer say yes out of obligation, but instead say yes to things that I want AND need in my life. This makes it far easier to manage my calendar, feel good about my to do list and be reliable, and on time, to what I’m showing up for! If you are constantly cancelling plans, late to meetings or get togethers, or dreading the things on your calendar, I highly recommend that you take a look at what you are saying yes to.
It’s all a bit easier if you are organized
I have always considered myself a fairly organized person but that has been tested as life has gotten more chaotic as a busy mom. I needed to step beyond organized as “my closet is neat and my clothes are arranged by clothing article” so that “my calendar is updated, my client list is accessible, our meal prep is managed and my son’s pick up and drop offs are arranged”.
A few tools for staying organized include:
- A calendar management program for clients and “other” life events to be documented. This includes scheduling all appointments, reminders, meetings, deadlines, self-care time and date nights!
- A client management system for business owners to keep track of who is who, who needs what and a place to organize leads, clients and past clients.
- A weekly “traffic meeting” with my husband during naptime on Sunday to be sure that the family schedule is attainable for each of us for the week. This is where I ask for help with bedtime on nights I have meetings or consultations and where we get to block out some us time for date nights and non-work time. We totally stole this idea from Rachel and Dave Hollis through their podcastand it’s been a game changer for us!
- Saturday to Saturday meal planning on Saturday morning and map out what meals we want to cook for the week, through the next Friday. Then we make a list and take it to the store so we can stock up on all the ingredients that we need. This takes out any of the “what’s for dinner tonight” debacle, prevents us from spending too much time and money eating out, and saves me from having to drive 30 minutes to the store more than once a week!
It’s healthy to set boundaries
I thought in order to be a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and business owner I needed to be available ALL the time. Boy did this turn out to not be true. At all.
Finding this out is definitely a “live and learn” process for me, but I am no longer sitting by my phone at 11 pm to check my email. Using a calendar management program has really helped me to define my working and nonworking hours and to define “us time, we time, he time and she time”. In other words, get clear about family time, spouse time, husband’s own time, your own time by setting work/life boundaries.
This is still a work in progress because I do find myself spending WAY too much time posting on my IG stories, pinning random sleep stuff on Pinterest and checking in with clients at obscure hours of the day and night, but WE ARE GETTING there!
It’s acceptable to ask for help
I believe one of the biggest misconceptions about being a mom is that you have to go at it alone all the time. This is SO NOT TRUE!
When you are able to delegate, ask for help and outsource, you will be a far more productive you! Some examples of outsourcing may include:
- Hiring a cleaning company to come to your home once a month to take care of the parts of cleaning that you don’t have time for.
- Hiring a babysitter (or trading childcare with a friend) so you can have a few uninterrupted hours during the week. It is hard to get much done with little humans clinging to your legs, and most of the time it isn’t fair to you or them!
- Getting a “mothers helper” (aka middle school aged neighbor) to come by the house and play with your kids as you put away laundry… You will be amazed at how efficient you can be and how happy your kids are to show their toys and books to a “big kid”!
- Being super upfront and transparent with your partner and family members about the challenges that you are experiencing and the help that you need.
- Having other mom friends that you can relate to…Aka find a tribe and connect with them OFTEN! This can be through stroller walks in the morning, play dates at the park, phone calls during nap time or even a girls’ night out!
It’s possible to have it all
Being the best mom, wife, boss, friend and sane human can happen, but it can’t all happen at the same time.
There are days where business is slow (by my choice or not) and I am a killer mom. I take my son to open gym, music class, playdates and then we spend our time at home reading, cuddling, playing outside and cooking. There are other days when I feel like I see him when he wakes up in the morning and give him a kiss before bed because I am tied up working on my business. There are other days when I take 4 hours in the morning to head to the gym for a run and then go sit in peace at a coffee shop while listening to a podcast.
And guess what? That’s okay with me! It is called balance, and it works for me!
I have accepted the fact that in order for me to be the best ME that I can be, I need to do all of this. I need to work on #allthethings. I need to be busy. I need to have a job and purpose outside the walls of our home. I need to say no. I need to be organized. I need to set boundaries. I need to ask for help. I need to be a mom and a wife and a business owner.
I need all of it. And more importantly, I WANT ALL OF IT!
I am so proud to be showing my son what it means to be a busy mom in modern day.
Most importantly, I believe in my heart that I can do this, and I hope you know that you can too.
Brittney Stefanic is a certified sleep consultant. She gets that when you are a busy mom, you need sleep! You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook @brittneystefanicsleep for access to her free sleep tips and tricks and other ideas for managing life as a busy mom.
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