By: Shari Dalton
“Motherhood on Front Street.”
That was the name of the blog I was going to start writing about 5 years ago. I thought it would be hilarious to share the trials and tribulations I experienced as a mom and in particular, the stresses of being a working mom. So cute that I thought I would actually have time for that! Like most working moms, I would crawl into bed each night thankful everyone, including myself, survived to live another day and stressed about all of the things that didn’t get done and would get put off until yet another day.
That is how I used to think and feel, anyway. And I’ll be honest, I still struggle with it, but I’m getting better. Starting a business has taught me a lot about “work/life balance” and the truth is, there’s no such thing! It’s total BS and the sooner you stop convincing yourself that there is some perfect balance out there, the better off you’ll be. Take it from this working mom!
What it comes down to is presence and being 100% present with where you are and who you’re with. If you’re at work, feel good about that and be 100% focused on work. When you’re home and spending time with your family, be 100% focused on them and not worried about work.
Here are some tips that help me be more present and focused:
- Delegate! Yes, I know, no one can do it as good as you and you’d rather do it yourself than redo what someone else has done, but get over it. If you’re not a single parent household or you’ve got older kids, delegate housework. If there are coworkers who can help with projects, let them! Don’t try to take on everything yourself. The world will not come to a crashing halt because you disengage from a few things. Plus, what better way to coach and lead than to help others develop a new skill set.
- Stop thinking everything has to be perfect. The house doesn’t have to be perfectly cleaned all the time. You realize it can look like people live in it, right? Trust me, I struggle with this – a ton! But, at the end of the day, it’s not worth stressing out about. And work? Are your co-workers perfect? Are they flawless? Doubtful – so why do you hold yourself to a higher standard than you’d hold them? I’m not saying don’t strive for greatness, but if it’s stressing you out, you really need to reassess what your goals are! We often expect way more out of ourselves than anyone else does. If you can leave work at the end of the day and feel good about the effort you put in, then that is a great day and something to be proud of.
- Celebrate Yourself! Yeah, I said it. We celebrate the shit out of everyone else! We know how to throw a mean party, am I right? For our kids, a family member, a coworker, or just a dumb sporting event. We can, and should, take the time to celebrate ourselves as well. We don’t have to throw ourselves a major fiesta, but treat yourself to some downtime – maybe a spa day, or an afternoon at the golf course, or even a weekend getaway with friends. It’s ok, do it!
At the end of the day Moms, you work way too hard. You’ve got to be able to take care of yourself before you can really take care of anyone else. Stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Stop over-tasking yourself with things to do. Find a hobby or something you love to do and do it. Or, do nothing…absolutely NOTHING, and love every single second of it! You deserve it!