Sometimes I feel like I can do it all. Other times I am very aware that I can’t. When you can’t do it all, don’t worry. You are not alone.
Life has felt crazy for me lately, and I have found that I can’t seem to get on top of things. I am learning a lot through this season, and I want to share some insight today into for those times when you don’t quite feel like super mom.
My kids are all in school…for the first time…all in school.
I totally thought that this would become an easier season, where suddenly I’d be completely on top of everything.
By now, every single drawer, closet and cupboard in my home was going to be completely organized. It’s not.
My kids clothes would be clean AND folded. They’re not.
My husband would come home to an amazing home-cooked, healthy meal. He doesn’t.
I would be five pounds lighter because of the exercise I’d be able to do. I’m five pounds heavier.
I would be on top of my blog – inbox empty, old blog posts updated, newsletter out weekly. Not so much.
What is going on? I’m supposed to be on top of things! I’m not.
We can’t do it all and quite frankly, we shouldn’t put that pressure on ourselves. You are one woman. Not only that, but you are a mom, with so many demands on your attention and time. Life isn’t perfect or smooth. It’s complicated and messy – beautiful but intricately involved. With all that is vying for our attention, what should you do when you can’t do it all?
When You Can’t Do It All
I believe it’s important to prioritize. Sometimes that is more complicated than it appears. I believe in the mission to love God and love others. What does that look like? It is going to be individualized based on what you feel God is calling you to do. Keeping Him at the center helps you to see how to best prioritize life. It is going to look different from season to season. Sometimes you will know it’s time to pour more into certain areas – where you serve, who needs help, how to care for yourself, etc.
I definitely want to encourage you to keep your marriage strong – focusing on date nights and loving your spouse well. That foundation will help other pieces of your life to fall in line.
Remove the Pressure
We often put ridiculous expectations on ourselves. We want ourselves, our house and our kids to look like they stepped out of a magazine. That is pressure none of us needs.
I love to throw parties. It’s fun for me. Letting my kids pick out a theme and then trying to throw a Pinterest-ready celebration helps spark my creativity and ignites excitement.
Others do not like putting on an involved party. Many have become overwhelmed by trying to be the perfect Pinterest mom. If that’s you, just stop. Please. I urge you. If it’s not breathing life into you or your family, stop.
I did that this season – stopped. As I said, I generally like to throw my own party. For the first time, however, I did not make my child a birthday cake. I have made 19 birthday cakes for just my kids alone, and this November I didn’t do it. Rather than a party in our home, we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s. They did the birthday cake. Guess what?! It was fabulous. I did zero set up. I did zero clean-up. Everything was handled, and everyone had a blast.
The new online reservation system made it easy to book the party, and I got to choose from a new set of party themes: Party Like a Rock Star, Sports-Sports-Sports, Dressed in Pink and Chuck E. Super Fan. There were three different party package options at different price points, making it affordable for families at a variety of income levels.
After the event, all the little voices were saying, “I want do do my birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.” I don’t blame them. I remember the magic of that place when I was a kid, and it is always fun to re-live as an adult.
From the games, to the tickets and the famous ticket muncher. My son got to go into the ticket blaster as the birthday boy and even received 1000 extra tickets as a birthday present from our party host, provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Each of the children at the party received their own tokens (included in the party package), and I bought additional tokens for the parents. I’m not sure who had more fun. The adults were competing in ski ball, racing games, basketball shoot outs and football throws. As parents, we could relax and have fun because of the super kid check program. We knew that no one was going to wander out of that restaurant because of the security measure in place. To be able to just relax and enjoy ourselves as friends and adults was great.
Everyone was delighted – dancing and singing along – when Chuck E. Cheese himself made an appearance to celebrate the birthday boy. We did a pull piñata full of tokens and tickets.
Relaxing your expectations for a party doesn’t mean dumbing down the enjoyment. It simply means letting someone else take care of it. Everything was so easy! and worth it! and fun! I put together a little video montage of our time there.
So, when you know you can’t do it all. Don’t! Take off the pressure you put on yourself. Let someone else take care of the details.
Know When to Say No
With all the kids in school, I thought I could do it all. Can you be the room mom this year? Sure! Want to do all the decorations for the school auction? Fun! Why not? Are you willing to lead Bible Study? Yes. Do you want to continue working in the marriage ministry at church? Of course. I can host that baby shower! I can make that new mom a meal! I can bake cookies for church! I can do it all!! NO…I…CAN’T!
It’s easy, as a SAHM, to think you can do it all. There is no shame in recognizing you can’t. I have needed to schedule time to work on my blog, pay bills, and work on laundry. I’m needing to find time to exercise. I’m learning to say no to some good things…some things I theoretically could do. It’s time to say “no” and feel no shame in it.
“Stop multi-taking!” she says as she stands up to move the laundry from washer to dryer while writing a blog post. Hey, I didn’t say I’m great at this stuff, I just promise to share with you what I’m working on too.
I really do believe we are at our best when we can put all of our focus on one activity at a time. I know it’s hard. Yesterday I was determined to find my kids Christmas outfits online. Meanwhile my kids needed help with homework, snacks needed to get made and Christmas had vomited in our living room, calling for me to finish decking the halls.
Suddenly, I was short and snapping at my kids. No one finished their homework. In parenting, I need to learn to stop multi-tasking and put all of my focus in one place. I know I’ll be more efficient and effective when I do.
Take Time for Self-Care
Parenting is a selfless pursuit. It’s been something I’ve wrestled with as I am learning the extent of my selfish nature. Despite our self-centeredness, we often neglect ourselves. Everyone comes first, and we no longer pursue some of the things that make us tick – whether it be art, fitness, dance, photography, knitting or literature.
Know that there’s a balance to be found. No, you can’t do it all. You shouldn’t. However, make sure that you are not neglecting yourself. You’ll have nothing to poor back into those you are serving throughout the day.
When You Can’t Do It All
When you can’t do it all, give yourself some grace. Prioritize, remove the pressure, know when to say no, stop multi-tasking and take time for self-care.
You are doing an amazing job! No one told us that adulting would be such hard work.
I hope you find encouragement, lots of snippets of joy and a bucket full of grace as you continue on as an amazing mom…who can’t do it all, but is loved and appreciated anyway. You will be treasured more for the simple moments of love you pour out by truly listening to, caring for and engaging with those you love. Go and parent on.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine.