Life is hard. Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is really hard. Being a friend is hard. Being a wife is hard. Did I cover everything?
I recently turned 40. I know, I don’t look a day over 25 (at least that’s what I like to tell myself). After hitting this milestone, I’ve finally decided that I’m enough. I work hard at two different jobs. I love my kids. I love my friends. I love my husband. That love may not be shown every day in my actions, but it’s there and it’s real.
For the last twenty years, I’ve had a tendency to put everyone before me. I’ve sacrificed my happiness, my wishes, my sleep, my money and my time for those around me. Some deserved it – while others did not. When you spend so many years doing this – it becomes the expectation from those around you. Then you make life even harder for yourself.
I’ve talked to so many women about this unattainable expectation we continually try to live up to and we all feel the same. We wish we could clone ourselves or be in two different places at once, win the lotto and hire a staff to help – none of which is possible. Maybe the lotto part and if that happened then the staff comes, but let’s be honest here – we aren’t winning the lotto anytime soon.
Once I became a mom, this problem I had became worse. Friendships suffered because naturally my kids had to come first. I’ve had to cancel trips, dinner dates and countless girl’s nights. I’ve had to miss weddings and baby showers out of town due to finances or work. I’ve had to tell my kids “no” to outings because I physically didn’t have the energy to even get them or myself dressed. I’m burned out. I’m tired. I’m not 20 years old anymore.
But, now, entering my 40s – I’m not going to feel guilty about it any more. I’m also going to be more understanding when the tables are reversed. I’m going to give myself a morning to sleep in. I’m not going to overextend myself or over schedule my calendar. I’m going to make each day count. I’m going to be present in one activity at a time instead of only giving 30% to three activities at once. Extreme multi-tasking is a thing of my past. It’s not cool anymore.
Moving forward, I’m taking the advice of Randi Zuckerberg: Choose three. Each day choose three things to focus on. Choose from family, friends, fitness, finances, faith, or what ever is most important to you. Today is my fitness, finance and family day. My family is ultimately my #1, but it’s okay if they aren’t my #1 every day. The more balanced you are, the happier your family is. My friends are important to me, but I can’t always be the one keeping the friendship alive either. My husband is my partner in life, but a night out with the girls makes my time spent with him even more special.
If you struggle to find balance too – stop feeling guilty because you can’t volunteer (or don’t want to) at your kid’s school. Start taking care of yourself – you deserve that mani-pedi with the girls. Say “no” more, and if people don’t understand – that’s not your problem. Choose three – three is enough. You are enough. <3