Sunday, July 3, 2011

What is "doing it all?"

It has been four days since my last post.  I have been trying to post at least three times a week, which means no more than three days in between each post.  I am a mom, just started my own business, work outside my home 1 - 3 days a week, house cleaner, gardener, party planner and now even try to work out at the gym 5x a week.  There are a few other roles I assume as well, depending on the day (or minute).

I had an appointment this week with my doctor.   When you have had three kids in four years (almost to the day) you get to know your doctor, at least I have.  She asked how I do it all.  It is a question I get frequently when I catch up with people.  The truth is, I really wonder, what is "ALL" and what is the definition of "doing it" ? (OK, take your mind out of the gutter ...)

In school, you have assignments and upon completing that assignment you get a grade.   In life, there are no A's and F's.  There are no set parameters for what exactly your job assignment is.  I mean, being a mom requires giving birth or taking "ownership" of a child's life.  Other than that, the rest is up to the individual for the tasks they wish to take on.  Same goes for all of the other areas of life.  How clean is your house?  How well are you managing your finances?  Are you planning the "party of the year" for your baby's birthday or is it just another day?

This week, I was feeling overwhelmed.  For no particular reason either.  It wasn't THAT crazy of a week, in compared to others.  I realized there is no way, no matter my best efforts, that I will be 100% satisfied with all that I do all of the time.  There are just not that many hours in the day, and I do like my 7 hours of sleep at night.

I was working in my yard and looked at my potted plants.  With the summer heat, I don't water enough & we don't have a drip system for all of them.  The plants were half dead.  I felt like a failure.  But, instead of going out & buying more I laughed at myself.  I realized, who am I kidding?  Since we have moved into this house, every summer these plants have died, I get new ones and they die ... until fall / winter rains come.  So, I ripped out all of my potted plants & put the pots in the garage until fall.  It felt good.  It felt good to have one less thing on my plate that nagged at me every time I was in front of my house - GONE.  I now smile as I look at that area.

We try to do too much and then get upset when we feel we have "failed".  We have all shed tears, and given hugs or words of support with our friends when they are feeling overwhelmed too.  I believe we need to give ourselves a little, no, a lot of grace, and a lot of pats on the back for doing the best we can ... which is some days just getting food in the kids mouths and changing a few diapers.   Sometimes, we need to admit that there are things we just can't do.  Do you have half dead flowers that need to be ripped out?  Lighten you load.  Ask for help, or say no.  Sometimes, that is the best thing you can do.  Most of all, give your self some grace.

I would love to hear about ways that you overcame the "doing it all" feeling or something you did to lighten your load?  What helps you?


  1. Terrific and wise post, my friend. You are such a good woman and your girls are blessed to call you their momma! ~Love, Dena

  2. I've been feeling overwhelmed the past several days. I'm on maternity leave but have a huge project at work that only I at the company work on...we're getting to deadline and I'm not where I would like to be. Yesterday the girls wanted a lot of mommy time. Especially Laney, of course. I felt SO guilty that all I could think about was trying to get to my project instead of enjoying the moments with my baby. And then to look around the house...what a mess! I've been able to get to the laundry but folded in piles down stairs is as far as I've gotten. I won't even mention the dishes (but I guess I just did)! It was a bit easier before Michael went back to work. I'm trying real hard to just relax and breathe, knowing that I'm adjusting to life as a mommy of 3 and figure out how to "do it all". It sounds like you've got a better grasp at it than I do! Keep up the posts...I love reading what works for you.
    XO, Leah