I’ve rewritten this post too many times to count. It’s a tricky topic – and a subject that I think so many of us struggle with on a daily basis. There’s this idea in our society that if we, as parents, just try hard enough, or read enough articles, or poll all the moms we know, that we’ll figure it out – how to do it all, how to keep all the plates balanced in the air (with a pretty cupcake on top). This idea is based on some common misunderstanding that what we’re already doing isn’t enough. We observe others that we deem “similar” to ourselves and collect a database of all the things that we think we should be doing. We see the mom at school who not only is the PTA president, but also volunteers countless hours in her child’s classroom and serves at the food bank every Wednesday. We see the mom as we drive by the park who sits happily watching her children play while handing out carrot sticks and whole-grain, freshly baked muffins. We see the mom at the gym or the mom in a snazzy business suit, and it goes on and on. We take from what we observe and desire about each of them and add it to the list. And then we look at this extensive, impossible, comprehensive list and decide that we’re not doing enough. It’s time that we let go of this impossible quest and learn to be truly happy with ourselves, be satisfied that we’re doing enough. For me, this will always be a struggle, but if I keep a check on my priorities and stay focused on what’s important to me, to my family, I can go to bed at the end of the day feeling like it was enough. I read something once about friendships. The gist of the article was that our friends each play different roles in our lives. One friend might make us laugh, another lends advice, and another reminds us how to play. Can we view our roles in our families the same way? Instead of comparing ourselves to each other, let’s accept that we each play an important, different role in life. Take care of yourself in the way that you need it. Take care of your family in the way that you feel comfortable. Work to make sure that the basics are taken care of – nourishment, shelter, nurturing. Figure out how to meet the basics of day-to-day life – driving the kids to school, paying bills, getting groceries. Tell your family how much you love them every single day. And focus on who you are and what your role is and just do your best. Adapt as life changes, because it always changes. The truth is, there’s not one answer to making it all work because it’s not a one size fits all quest. Do what works for you and your lifestyle, and know that you’re doing just fine.
What do you to keep yourself from being overwhelmed by the challenges of everyday life? Share with me in the comments below for a chance to win a set of Bridgestone tires!
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