I’m a mom. Therefore, by definition I am tired 26 hours a day. A mom for five years I feel as though I finally have my feet wet. I’ve developed a rhythm. I feel less concerned about pneumonia when one of my children sneezes and more worried about whether or not I am going to have to use my own sleeve (again) to wipe away the mess. A knock to the head is more about waiting to see if their eyes go crossed then rushing to call or visit the doctor. Floor time activities are fishing for crackers that have fallen under the table and date night is staying awake all the way until 10pm only to realize that I’ve actually dozed off for half an hour of that show I finally got to watch.
Mom life. It’s magical isn’t it?
You see, in the early years of motherhood I was defeated. I could not find the humour in the chaos, the light in the dark and I most certainly could not find the drive. You know, that drive that fuels you toward the bigger picture. What I knew was how to keep the kids alive and bake bread. That is what I learned from years 1-4 of motherhood. Oh! And function like a mediocre human being on less the no sleep.
That being my reigning accomplishment.
I would read blogs periodically while I scrolled through my 2 thousand daily Pins with catchy taglines about being a better mom, more efficient mom, more patient mom and all I wanted to do was yell at them all. So of course, here I am now writing a blog I hope to Pin with a similar message (insert definition of irony here).
The point is, I wasn’t there yet. I am not sure if I am now either. Not entirely.
I keep reading about all of these women talking about how you have to hustle or how everyday they are hustlin’ and there are memes and posts and courses and printables and online forums on HOW to do this ‘Hustle’.
And here I am just trying to keep moving my feet. So I say, kudos to these women! I mean that sincerely. I aspire to be more like each of them every day. I celebrate their strength and resilience. I hope to one day earn the hashtag #ladyboss for myself. But for today I need to just stay focused on the tapping of my own two feet.
Here are my FIVE suggestions if you too are a mom who hopes to one day try for a #ladyboss hashtag of your very own but are right now just trying to keep your eyeballs from popping out of your head from sheer exhaustion.
YOU HAVE TO START BY CLAIMING WHAT YOU WANT
It took me a lifetime to admit to myself and then the last two years to admit to the rest of the world that a writer was what I wanted to be. Writer being such an esteemed word in my vocabulary, I still struggle with feeling like I could ever be adequate enough to deserve the title. But it wasn’t until I laid claim to what I wanted that I could even begin to take the smallest step toward seeing that through.
PRIORITIES-YOU NEED TO BE ONE OF THEM
Be realistic. This is the biggest thing that I am learning. Now that I know what I want, I need to be ok with how I am going to go after it and say a big BABYE to any guilt on the matter. One of my main priorities is sleep. Without sleep everything feels as though it is falling apart. Sleep; my unicorn. I have sought this elusive beast for years and I finally see her in my sights. I almost always sleep through the night now (hazaah!) Unfortunately though, all three of my children still wake up before 5am every day. Therefore the advice to ‘wake up an hour before your family to get in some quiet/productive time’ is a big old NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. As is staying up much later then they do. For now, I just need to be ok with this. It’s a challenge as I have endless ideas brewing but minimal brain capacity to see them through. . .for NOW.
So when I can sleep, I sleep. A firm number one priority for the time being. For too long I allowed this need to make me feel like a failure. Now I am realizing that making it a priority is what fuels any success.
MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME WITH EVEN THE SMALLEST OF EFFORTS
When I have the energy to stay awake but not be overly productive I have switched from mindless scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram and just started paying attention. There are people chasing after their dreams everywhere. Don’t allow yourself to get caught in the jealousy trap. Celebrate these people and then learn from them. I might not have the energy to really hustle, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still get invited to the dance.
My husband. After sleep, my ‘extra’ time is offered to him. After long hours of him being out of the house and a full day of the chaos that is having children, time each day is set aside for us. No question. I need this. Relationships too easily become secondary to the busy of kids, the chaos of life or the aspirations of ‘more’. We adapt the length of time from day to day that is set aside to create room for both our separate interests and dreams to grow.
But he comes before hustle.
DON’T GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
Have you heard this saying? Another valuable lesson I am only just learning, is the importance to go with the flow of my life and not to fight against it. I don’t want to rush through these early years with my children. I don’t want to get stuck hoping for the days to come or missing the days that were. I am working toward being more present more often. If the day allows for more focus on my dreams and my goals I will maximize my time. If the day works against (literally anything) getting done, I need to be ok with that too. This is the reality of this season in my life, one I am working on being in more regular celebration of.
Lastly, a bonus.
STOP WIPING IT DOWN OR SWEEPING IT UP!
Kids are icky. They are just loud, sticky crumb machines. Because of this I find myself in a constant state of wiping down, picking up or sweeping away. Because I am home all day, I have felt that this should be part of my hourly requirement. Utter nonsense. The unfortunate reality is I just realized this two minutes ago. I am giddy with anticipation at how avoiding doing these tasks until my miniature people are tucked into their beds and safely behind the quiet of a closed door, will allow for so much more time to do. . .virtually anything!
The ‘Take Away’
Believe that you are worth your dreams and then go after them.
Whether you are going after your dreams full throttle and you are hustling every day or if you are learning the ropes with a sporadic side step, don’t allow yourself to believe for a moment that you aren’t a part of the dance.