You cannot give 100 percent to everything.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or full-time career mom, you are pulled in many directions, and it’s no wonder that your attention span is short.
No wonder you start folding laundry, pause to pull chicken out of the freezer for dinner, stop to pick up Legos off the floor, answer the phone, Google the question, make a snack for the kids, do the dishes – and wander back to the laundry an hour later.
(Insert infomercial voice:) Do you feel like you’re not giving 100 percent to all your tasks and every job-description? Are you slacking on your housekeeping, behind on paying bills, settling for “quick and easy meals” instead of healthy and colorful?
Join the club.
One of the things we need to learn as moms – and an important tool to teach our children – is the ability to leverage our time.
We need to let go of the 100 percent rule, change the way we think about balance, and kick mom-guilt to the curb.
But we still have to keep up our responsibilities. Laundry and meals and teaching and cleaning will still have to occur. Sorry, no miracle-fixes here.
I’m just saying that there’s really no need to feel like we have to give 100 percent in every area, every time.
The day is only so long and there are fixed things to be done at fixed hours. Write those things down. Put them on paper or in your phone or write it on your toddler’s forehead, but make a note of the things that must happen each day and when.
Meals. Naps for the little’s. Practices. Bedtimes. Chocolate.
Next, there are things that need to be done on certain days. Today I have a bill I must pay, school to teach, this article to finish, and somebody streaked through the house with muddy-wet socks yesterday so the floors need mopped. Somebody should mop them.
Determine when those things should happen today. Write them down, and leave room in your schedule for interruptions.
Now, look at your schedule and determine what, if anything, needs your 100 percent effort. Maybe neatly creased laundry is not all that important and you can do the task quicker by letting go of perfectionism.
Do you have to make perfectly balanced meals every night?
Sometimes, isn’t getting dinner on the table without too much stress more important than giving all of your effort to the food groups and presentation?
Don’t feel bad about that, or about letting your homeschooler correct their own grammar lesson because you’re teaching math to another child.
Give your 100 percent to the things that need it most.
Help your older kids learn to do this with their schedules.
They have school and chores and other responsibilities, and they need to be taught how to determine which tasks need their 100 percent effort, which ones just need to be done, and when it all should occur.
There is always room for improvement.
Your kids could be smarter, your house cleaner, your meals more beautiful, your body more toned, and your cupboards more organized.
But leveraging your time means you determine what things are most important to you and your family, and you use those priorities to examine how you’re spending your time and energy.
So let yourself off the hook.
Pick the most important task for this 24-hour day.
Does it require that you give it your best effort, or does it just need to be done?
Give your 100 percent to the things that deserve it, and let the rest of it be good enough.
...change the way we think about balance, and kick mom-guilt to the curb.