In my eBook SHINE: 10 Tips for Effective Work Life Balance, one of the first tips listed is about learning to say no. This often goes against our fiber as women and as moms because we were “taught” to instinctively take on everything that comes our way. It’s what our mothers did and their mothers did and so on and so forth. But what we know now is that taking on everything at hand isn’t the healthiest or most balanced way to live. So something has to give.
As working moms, we’ve got to know our limitations and work to make sure that they aren’t pushed. And when I say working moms, I am talking about all mothers—whether you work in or outside of the home, or are a stay at home mom running a household, you are working. Raising your children, taking care of the daily responsibilities, etc. Working moms is kinda a play on words because all moms work. But let’s not get too far off the matter at hand. As a Work Life Balance proponent, I believe in proper balance and boundaries. They must be exercised so that we do not suffer from undo stress, burnout, or bad nerves.
Repeat after me: I will not be all things to all people.
Yep. We must accept this. We must make sure that we know that we can’t always play Captain Save ‘Em. Sometimes, we are going to let people down. Sometimes, we are going to disappoint. We may even fail at some point. We may have to show that there is a chink in our armor.
I personally have given up trying to be all things to all people. Instead, I have one mission: to be the best woman I can be without striving for perfection. I think being imperfect is perfectly perfect. I just may burn the toast every once in awhile. I might fall asleep during a conference call. My daughter just might be late to one of her playdates.
Guess what: she will live. And so will I.
Working moms, we must make sure that we reclaim ourselves. We can get so focused on the needs of others that when it comes to us, we are the last on the list. And then there’s no time or energy to take care of the person that takes such good care of others.
Say no sometimes. Learn discernment. Learn to delegate. Learn not to say yes upon first being requested. Think about it. Let it marinate.
Don’t be afraid to disappoint people. To let people see you be vulnerable. To let people see that your arts and crafts aren’t picture perfect and Pinterest ready. Let’s reclaim our motherhood and our true selves, so that our daughters and sons know that they don’t have to be all things to all people as well.