Because…you can’t be good at everything.
1. Being Everyone’s Friend
Friendships are important to your overall well-being; yet being a working mom can severely cut into any social time you might have had on your calendar. You might notice your friendships start to naturally decline and you have to think about who its worth investing in, and who might be easy to let go of (or maybe even who is toxic).
Just because you can’t make every social event doesn’t mean you can’t spend your limited energy checking in with close friends when the relationships feel healthy and supportive. If you’re a constant let down to someone — it’s probably not you and, they might be toxic. If someone is speaking badly about you or judging your decisions, news flash: they are not worthy of your very limited time. Pro working-mom-friendship-tip: be picky, put out your good person vibes and the rest will fall into place. Let go of the urge to “be a better friend” all of the time. You’re doing great and anyone who thinks otherwise can go fly a kite.
2. Date Nights
All the marriage advice we hear when pregnant is about date nights and how you MUST have them regularly scheduled or your relationship is doomed. I was bound and determined to never drop the ball on this. Then, reality struck. Babysitters can be challenging to find — and trust. Not to mention, expensive. We simply can’t afford to go out every Friday night. With two little ones at home, date nights are like a rare and precious gem.
I do love spending time with my husband and reconnecting, but I don’t allow my inner critic to say I’m not doing enough for my marriage because I can’t get my stuff together for a regular date night rhythm. We get a date night in when its reasonable — maybe twice per month. We even sneak in dates before daycare pickup (highly recommend!).
3. Having Energy
Kids are like little energy suckers and they are endless in their demands to play. But at the end of an 8-to-5 day, I’m freakin’ tired. Exhausted, really. Here’s a simple solution that checks the “awesome mom” box: give each kid 10 minutes of undivided attention every night and let the rest of the time be the sh*t show that working mom-hood is. Don’t judge yourself.
Oh, and on a good night, your kids will come home exhausted, too.
Let’s be real — “fitness” is not currently an important life goal for me. But health — well yeah, I like that idea. This will probably sound like an excuse to you no-excuse workout types, but I just don’t have the time to be consistently dedicated to any particular exercise. Occasionally, I make it to a Barre class and occasionally I run a mile and occasionally I lay on the couch and watch Bravo.
Good news — there are ways to be healthy without a strict workout regimen, like taking short walks throughout the day, stretching at night, meditation, and playing with your kids (twofer alert). Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t resemble an Instagram fitness model (be happy for those who do). Someday we’ll have more flex in the schedule for finding the right regimen and for now give yourself a lot of grace.
I tricked my husband into marrying someone he thought was a decent cook — or at the very least enjoyed cooking. Turns out, I don’t like it… and believe me, I have tried everything. So I’ve let go of this cliché of the mom making dinner and I try to prep meals twice a week. The rest is between my husband, Costco, and the pizza place.
The dinners I do make are versatile, like crock pot salsa chicken for tacos, burritos, quesadillas or nachos. People seem to like it, and it’s in my capacity to make time for. If it’s not in yours, that’s okay. Cooking doesn’t make you a better person (thankfully).
I recognize that when you are sick, worn out, or even just busy — taking time to rest is good for the body and soul. If you have small kids, no one — and I repeat NO ONE — is going to make sure you get rest (if you have found that someone, consider it a miracle). You are responsible for taking care of yourself and making yourself the priority. So, despite knowing all of this information and generally agreeing with it, I rarely rest.
Why? I simply can’t find the margin in my life right now — and that’s OKAY.