I am going to do it all and get it all done. Sometimes even if it kills me.
This philosophy was never really a problem until I became a mom. When I was in PR agency world, it was actually a good thing. In the fast pace environment where deadlines were always looming and the to-do list was a mile long, my Type A personality kept me a float.
But as a mom, it is something I am struggling with. I am the kind of parent who thinks I can do it all. On a given Saturday, I can easily squeeze in breakfast with my grandparents, a meet up at the playground, a trip to Target, two birthday parties and dinner out with the fam. No problem. I thrive in the juggling. But now, I have two little ones that are trying to keep up with me and it is hard.
I find my self constantly saying any of the following on repeat, “Eat your breakfast we have to be at school in 10 minutes.” “Hurry and brush your teeth we have to get your shoes on.” “We are going to be late!” “We are in a hurry, let mommy do it this time and you can do it next time.”
Ugh, I feel bad. We are rushing around like crazy people; I need to stop and slow down. But it is almost against my nature.
What do you compromise on? What do you skip out on?
I am a working mom. I travel for work. I volunteer in my profession. And I blog for my creative outlet. And when I say that, I don’t mean it as a burden. I enjoy my work, my coworkers, and my professional life. But life as a working mom, that means that there are two to do lists. There are the things I have to get done between 9am-5pm, and the things I have to get done between 5-9pm. It is a juggling act.
I am struggling to find the balance of trying to get it all done and get the quality time as well. If you are in the working mom camp, you understand that the hours between 5-9pm are precious. It is the quality time that you get to spend together as a family. But life doesn’t just stop so you can have that quality time. The second to do list kicks in. You can’t just drop everything you need to do because dinner won’t cook itself, the laundry won’t clean itself, and the dishwasher won’t empty itself. It is hard and it is a struggle; I get it, I am there too.
The juggling means that the grocery shopping is often done at lunchtime and that some things have just had to be outsourced for my sanity and for the time with my family. I work hard, and I simply refuse to spend my weekends cleaning the house when I could be spending that time with my family. My kids will not remember if the house was clean. They will remember the memories that we made together at the playground on Saturday morning. That justified having someone else do it. Yes, it is extra money every month but that is too bad; we will make it work. Target Subscriptions and Amazon Prime have been key players in the household duties as well.
Just when I thought I was hitting my stride with getting the juggling under control and maximizing my 5-9pm with my daughter, then she hit the age of activities. Ok, no problem add that to the list of things that I need to get done. I can handle it. I want to handle it all because I want her to get to do and try things. Just because I have a full plate does not mean that she can’t do extracurricular activities. There may be a few extra steps involved like swinging home to toss a load of laundry in the dryer or changing in the car on the way to dancing, but no problem, I will make sure she is there.
There are days when I see it as a challenge and I power through. There are days where I feel like she is learning skills of prioritizing and task management. I don’t remember my mom’s juggling act, but I know she did it, and she did it with three kids! So I can do this.
But then there are the days where trying to get it all done means that sometimes I just hit a wall and can’t do it. I feel bad that my kids are in and out of the car five or six times on a Saturday. But what do you really do about it? There are only so many hours in the day, and if Daddy is at work, it is what it is. It is just me against the list.