I am a slave to the ‘do’. Gotta do this or that, no one else will do it right, if I’m not doing I’m lazy, I don’t do enough.
Ahh… and there is the lie.
I came to this one quick this week and it didn’t even take a commute home to work it out.
As I continue to grow my career while co-raising a family, I find there are more and more things that need to get done. My son needs a few new social interventions, my daughter needs more activity to release this unreal energy, my husband needs more time away, and I need some better time management skills.
My husband has always been very supportive of my career, growing into the Human Resources arena and moving ‘up the ladder’, so to speak. I don’t really believe in ladders in today’s business world, but that’s another story. We have come up with a solution that works for us in managing our household, and it comes with judgement at times, with some support at others. But mostly, it comes with an understanding that while my job is to work outside of the home, making a modest wage to support our family, his job is to manage the household, raising our kids by day and supporting the extra-curricular activities that come with both networking in a human-based field and the need for a non-business, non-mom getaway. We have our good weeks and bad weeks, but things seem to have evened out a bit.
I’ve recently decided to join a networking industry group for women to further my knowledge in the industry for which I currently work, as well as volunteering/consulting for a class to be offered to the community aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mental illness. Add to this a 40 hour work week that includes a 2 hour commute each day and the last half of a bachelor’s degree and you’ll see why this whole “I don’t do enough” is such a lie.
Where does this silly lie come from?
My best guess is my old mainstay – comparisons. I compare myself to others in my circle. Nevermind that those others have far different circumstances than I – single, introvert, stay-at-home, more income, complete education, different-needs for kids. Tack on to that the mom label, and I screw myself. It’s why I glommed on immediately to the Strong Moms Empower campaign* – because I am one of the biggest offenders of the compare-and-diminish group.
LIE: I don’t do enough. I don’t make anyone around me happy so I need to continue to do more so that everyone else is pleased with their lives and with me. Plus, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done right.
NEW TRUTH: I do exactly what I need to do to support my family. I’m not perfect at managing my time, but when I recognize that I’m slacking in the family department, I correct; when I recognize that I’m not that nice to my partner, I find the source and then I apologize; and when I see that I’m so overwhelmed that I begin to shut down, I reassess my priorities and straighten myself out – with the help of my partner and my kids. I don’t have to pack cool lunches, or volunteer at school, or hand-make their clothes to be a good mom. Moms who do that are just as good as me; different, but still awesome.
Today I’m going to cut myself some slack. I shortened my To Do list to the essentials – a few homework items, a little light reading, a Disney movie, and, in the mandatory category – a tickle fight. Notice there’s nothing to do with sweeping, mopping, dishes, or laundry… Because today, that isn’t a priority.
Yes… my notes and To Do lists actually look like this. Hey – if they’re not pretty, I won’t re-read them. :)
My house is a mess, the kids have legos and books strewn everywhere, the dog is in time-out, and the husband’s off gallivanting with his fancy friends. And I’m going to be perfectly content to get my homework done, lounge in my pajamas, and maybe even pretend to be sleeping on the couch for a few minutes.
And this, my friends, is how a rare rainy, cloudy Saturday SHOULD be spent in Arizona.
*Disclaimer: I was not asked to write about anything or talk about the Strong Moms Empower campaign. I was just so moved this week by a moment in which I realized (again) that comparing ourselves to each other is often detrimental to the relationships we can build. We are each trying our hardest with what we’ve been handed or what we’ve created and to not support each other is to not support ourselves. I guess I just need to remind myself of this… a lot. <3 Peace out.