I’ve always been partial to this quote for it’s eloquent way of taking challenges and turning them into potentially beautiful life experiences. Adaptability and flexibility are absolute life essentials.
As I balance a career with [single] motherhood, and all manners of household duties, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to combat my growing (and aging) “To Do List”, coupled with all the stressors that come from spur of the moment hiccups (more like choke holds). How does one deal with it all, without completely giving up? Breathe …
Life is challenging. We can all agree on that.
My career houses a combination of strategic, results oriented projects requiring top of the line quality. And while I may house the innate skills to deliver, it’s not like I’m brushing my hair all day in a tower. Mental fatigue is a realistic, full fledged demon! Throw on top all that comes with #MomLife (how do people do it with more than one???), exercise and meal prep, beauty regimens, etc. The words “maddening” and “overwhelming” come to mind. Breathe again … and regularly. Pause and name your blessings. You can do this … all of it.
Over time, I’ve learned the key to balance is intentional perspective and outlook. This includes a positive approach to every day basics, and surrounding yourself with positive energies and people who identify with the same. As I’ve mentioned before, “your vibe attracts your tribe”.
I’ve put together a “Top 3” to get you thru any day (curve ball or not).
1) Plan & Prioritize.
There’s nothing original about this approach. The truth is, the better you plan, the less you are to feel overwhelmed by any potential wrenches life heaves your direction. I’m a lean principles person by nature. If there’s waste I can identify and toss, I’m all over it! I recently “leaned up” my house down to pantry organization. Example … I pre-packaged, in portioned zip lock bags, and placed all of Griff’s snacks on a shelf within his reach. When he wants a snack, he can acquire one on his own without the giant bag of chips exploding on the floor. This method also yields quick lunchbox assemblage. While the front end prep takes some time, it’s worth the time and stress reduction on the backend. Less steps, less stress. Organization of your home will lead to organization of your day. I know this sounds rigid and militant, but your future self will thank you. Look for ways to lean your home and every day flow … subtle changes make huge differences.
Next, I keep a calendar of events to help me stay focused on the tasks at hand and prep for future events. I plan meals for the week and use weekend time to cook and freeze for the coming week. This approach has helped me stay on top of my Mom game and healthy lifestyle, while I’m still able to fulfill all other obligations.
Be realistic about your planning and don’t overcommit. Know your limits and don’t feel guilty about not being a part of every single event or interest. Your kid will most certainly survive this life even though they didn’t attend one out of five birthday parties they were invited to … Lord, help me.
2) Delegate & Engage.
Where you can find help, ask for it and execute accordingly. My son is finally at the age where he is learning what it means to be a household contributor. We’ve incorporated a “How Can I Help?” (a.k.a. “Chore Board”) into our home. He’s gradually understanding the importance of accountability and ownership, which makes Mom tasks decrease. Finally! I firmly believe this to be an important quality to adopt, for a variety reasons. Not only are you incorporating assistance into your day, but you’re also teaching your littles valuable life skills. Win-win.
Also … when others offer to help you, take it! I used to be one of those persons who thought I needed to do it all on my own, when I had family and friends wanting and willing to make my load lighter. For me this was a lesson in humility. As I started to look at this offering as a blessing from above, I was able to surrender those feelings of inadequacy. The truth is, God was strategically placing people in my life to shower me with the love and support I need(ed). Thankful moment.
3) Give [and Receive] Grace.
I’m going to spend some time on this one, as it is one for which I have a burning passion. Giving grace has become a popular saying these days. When I talk about grace, I’m talking about the “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God”. To look at everyone thru the eyes of Christ truly is a virtue. This is a deep and philosophical topic. So in short, giving grace is about the way you approach and react to any individual or situation that is negative, disappointing, or hurtful in nature. A sometimes daunting, jaw clinching approach.
And trust … there are people who chap my rear in every way imaginable. However …
To operate from a position of grace is to push aside your human nature to react in judgement, or allow your preconceived ideas and notions to take hold of your response. Instead, when you respond in a way that leaves room for mistakes and second chances, [understanding you don’t know what others are going through] positions you for the higher road. And while this may be the road less traveled, it definitely has the best view. Remember, you too have had your moments you’d like to bury and not resurrect. Mmmm-hmmm.
While extending grace to others, be sure you’re doing the same for yourself. We get in the habit of putting so many expectations and self-imposed stressors on ourselves. When you don’t meet a goal or forget what may seem like the most obvious and trivial task, give yourself grace. You are human and you are trying your best. If your kid ate something off the floor, just remember it’s not the Home Depot floor. They will live.
I’ll end on this … dress up for every day and give it your personal best. Y’all know I’m committed to doing it all in this life … or I will die trying. So you know good and well I am going to look cute doing it! Outfit details are as follows:
Paige Denim pants; Target top; shoes are no longer available, but I found a similar pair at Nordstrom Shoes – Calvin Klein.
Give it your all and know I am supporting you through every valley and mountain, from a distance. Perspective truly makes a difference!