This morning, I got a shower and (halfway) pulled myself together because I had to shoot a video for my online business after I dropped off the kids. Throwing on a temporary good-enough-to-walk-in-the-school outfit, I tucked my freshly washed hair behind my ear and carried 52 decorated cupcakes into school pretending I had it all together even though my 3-year-old kept pulling on my sweater and my 6- and 10-year-old sparred with denim jackets in the hallway.
Greeting many forced smiling mommy faces along the way out, I empathetically returned one mother’s “good morning!” as she and her 4th grader dashed past me right before the bell rang.
I’m miserable, and she’s miserable too.
Not miserable in a things-are-really-bad sense, but more in a cyclical, perpetually irritating, no-relief-from-guilt-of-what-I’m-not-doing-right kind of emotional illness. Do you know what I’m talking about?
An illness I feed with thinking about all of the things I need to be grateful for. I have so much to be thankful about! My kids are healthy. I live in one of the richest countries in the world. I have pretty clothes and food to eat. What’s my problem?!
I hurry home to curl my hair and prepare a script for my video. After that, it’s replying to social media posts, writing email campaigns for my subscriber list, and endless mounds of laundry. Occasionally, I think about my kids playing and learning at school. I hope I can join them for lunch one day, but there’s no time.
Confession: I’m succeeding and failing all at once.
I’m holding in this cycle of wanting to do something great for humankind and unabandonedly play with my children. It’s a pendulum that keeps swinging. Sometimes I’m standing atop of it flinging my hat, and other days I’m barely hanging on and skinning my knees. Another win for my business is fed with precious time investment away from baby kisses and afternoons in the sprinkler. A weekday at the beach is a day I delay my benchmark goals. And ugh: the laundry continues to wait.
How would things change if we stopped pretending we’re okay, admitted that this is freakin’ hard, and then developed a plan that we can actually follow through with?
What if we mothers believed that we could work from home and actually juggle it with having time to launch water balloons and raspberry our baby’s neck? What if we were determined enough to do both so intentionally that we experimented, tested, and finally figured out where the lines of give and take are laid?
If we successfully squeeze the most out of everything ― the food we eat, the amount of sleep we get, the way we strategize, plan and follow through, to choosing to close the laptop and climb into a pillow fort with a grinning 2nd grader ― how would it evolve tomorrow’s working mom?
In a world that challenges us to be better, faster, prettier, smarter, seamless, timeless, cultured, accommodating, and above all, influential, perhaps it’s determination that will separate the cake consumers from the bakers.
Want to know how you can run a business and still have time to tickle your kid’s tummies? Get your exclusive free 20-minute video on how at personal-ty.com.