Here are some facts about me:
I’m a wife. I’m a mommy to two. I work full time in a demanding industry. I’m up at 4am every day and usually go down around 10pm. In the hours between, it’s packed with daycare prep, breakfast prep, internal meetings, creative briefs, client meetings, communications planning, work fires, grocery shopping over lunch, setting doctor appointments, paying bills, fighting Charlotte traffic, towing kids to swim lessons, prepping dinner, doing baths, fighting kids’ bedtimes and working on meeting prep a little more. Go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat.
It’s crazy. Most days the adrenaline carries me through.
Often I’m asked: How do you keep it all together?
The real answer is I don’t!
Lately, I’ve been reading about other parents that are confessing how difficult it is to keep it together. (Insert huge sigh of relief here). These parents include a Charlotte dad that is also an entrepreneur and a Charlotte mom documenting her struggle working after having her first baby. I also recently attended a webinar by Mom Complex (a business dedicated to working moms) and it started with “Balance is Bullsh!t”. What an empowering statement. Just hearing another working mom say those words aloud halted me in my frantic rush and allowed me to feel good about what I do every day.
As mothers, we all need to give each other a break. Smile more, sympathize more, share your victories and your struggles more. The biggest takeaway for me in this process is that I’m not doing it alone. I have a huge support system (thanks hubby, family and friends!) and there are millions of others in this world going through it, too.
A few tips that have also gotten me through include the following:
– Take time for me. I like to take what I call “Jen days”. These are days that I take off work, drop the kids off and usually go back home and cross things off my to-do list. It’s not glamorous by any means, but boy does it feel good!
– Put time on your calendar for your personal needs. When I was pumping at work, I would block off three thirty-minute windows on my work schedule so nobody could book meetings during that time. It was also a helpful reminder to keep pumping!
– Put the phone down. This is one I often struggle with still. My goal is to put my phone down when I walk in the door so I can focus on my family, not the obnoxious red numeric alert over my email icon on my phone (I’m one of those people that has to have it cleared)!
– Sneak in errands when you can. I try to grocery shop over lunch or run other errands so that I can enjoy my time at home with my family doing FUN stuff.
– Don’t do it all. I quickly realized I need to say NO and that it’s ok to do that. I don’t need to be on every committee or spearhead every activity. There are plenty of other talented people that can take those reigns.
Those are just a few things I do. Smarties, how do you respond to “How do you do it all?” and what are some of your tips to staying sane?
Great article Jen! I like those little numbers to be cleared too 😉
Thank you so much for including my post in this article, and I can relate wholeheartedly to this! Thank for such an insightful piece, the reminders, and the encouraging tips!