I don’t have any superpowers (I mean besides birthing children, duh!) that any other mom doesn’t also have.
So when, as a mom of three kids including a child with special needs, I am asked how I juggle the kids and multiple businesses and a husband who is away for work constantly, my answer is simple.
I am an Enneagram 3 and have a fierce drive to get everything I need to be done, but I don’t do it all. In fact, no mom does it all. If it seems like they are, there’s more to the picture that you can’t see.
Let me start off by saying in no way do I have it all figured out.
And once you live in the freedom of knowing that you won’t have it all figured out either… EVER…the heaviness of all your responsibilities will become less overwhelming too.
I have learned that my to-do list will never be done. I have gotten really clear on my goals and I know what my priorities are for my family and me. I put in the work to make sure my actions align with my desired outcomes and, inch by inch, day by day, we move towards those goals while keeping our priorities as our Northern star.
And if you’re looking for permission to get out from underneath the pressure of having to do it all yourself, you’re in the right place.
I’ve assessed what’s on my plate, identified my priorities, and figured out what I can realistically do on my own and where I need to bring in support.
So I want to give you a fuller picture of my own life. I want to show you the nooks and crannies where I’ve needed help, and the tools that I’ve used to handle everything on my plate and keep some semblance of sanity intact.
Here’s what “doing it all” looks like for me:
- I don’t always make dinner (especially when Jonny is gone). Instead, I order out or pop a “healthy version” of a frozen pizza in the oven more often than I’d like to admit. Have you ever tried cooking dinner with 3 small kids hanging on your body? Yep, no thanks.
- I don’t always give my kids baths before bed. Nope! Sometimes my body is too tired to bathe 3 bodies at the end of the day.
- On top of that, I won’t reply to my DMs or IG comments unless it is directly related to my business. Yes, this goes against everything a social media guru would teach and I’m sure the algorithm works against me on this one too, but I have chosen not to allow social media to dictate how I use my time.
- Another habit I’ve developed is that I stuff clean laundry piles into different spots around the house and when the time comes, I just pull out the clothes for me and my kids to wear from those piles. That way, I don’t have to spend time folding and putting away laundry.
Are you starting to feel a little more like you can relate yet??
Here is a little insight into how I am able to accomplish A LOT. (Make no mistake, my LOAD is FULL.)
- Get HELP!!
After we finished our first week of therapy, I sat down and counted how many people it took to make the week happen for my family. 9!! the answer is 9 different people pitched in to either help take Jax to therapy or help take care of my kids at home while I was away. The 9 people consisted of family, friends, and babysitters.
Now you’re probably thinking “9 is excessive,” and long-term it would be a ton of people in and out of my home during the week, but it’s a GRIND. A short grind where everyone pitches in and sacrifices to achieve our goals as a family.
ASK for help!!
People love to be wanted and feel wanted. If your friend or family member said, “Hey can you do me a favor?” Your first thought is probably something like, “Yes, of course! What can I do?” One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that people want to help! We as women just have to get better at ASKING for help.
2. Get smart about your hardest moments
From 3:00PM-bedtime, I “clock out.” I don’t know about you, mama, but this is my HARDEST time of day. By 3:00PM, all of my kids are home, they are worn out from the activities of the day, and frankly, so am I.
The whine (not wine) is real and so are their needs and desires for attention. I have learned to put my phone away, turn off my brain, and just be mom!!! Go outside and play the game, swim in the pool, go the park … and try to throw something nourishing together for dinner.
I try to always have music playing in the background (*insert impromptu dance party*) because music lifts my mood and sets the “vibe” for my home. I have found if I can put my phone away and not worry too much about having the perfect dinner ready, I can roll with the tantrums and the mess that ensues.
I also don’t make house chores a priority for myself during this time. If I’m able to throw in a load of laundry, great!! And if not, I can do it once the kids are in bed. (Did you see my blog post on the nightly routines I do to make my mornings less hectic?)
Take back night time
Dump the things that are stealing your time from you! I’m giving you the nudge to dump the social media scroll or the late night trash TV, or even the trash TV while scrolling simultaneously? Maybe this is contributing to the mindset that you’re failing as a mom or that other moms have it way more together than you do.
- Hire help
Are you noticing a theme? Okay, good!
I built my business from nothing.
Both my hair and makeup business and my Beautycounter business started at Ground Zero. I did not have a website, I did not have a social media handle, and I did not have a single client or order. But when I started putting in the work, my business started growing!
I got help creating my first website. I created an Instagram handle and made my first post. Little by little, I continued to build my business into what it is today.
Two years ago (4 years into my BC business and 11 years into my hair and makeup business), I hired help. I grew my business to the point where I knew I couldn’t progress anymore without support. I have Corrie, who helps me with my blogs and emails (she has an email newsletter template offer she’s working on– sign up here for more info!) and I have Hamilton, who helps me with all things organization, client relations & project management.
So, that’s the behind-the-scenes look at my life. Let me leave you with a few ideas that might help you!
Here are some ideas on how to get help with your kids both paid and non-paid.
- Family: The other day my sister came over and played outside with our kids while I made dinner for both of our families. It was a total group effort to keep the kids happy and have a healthy dinner for everyone. The best part is that we even had leftovers.
- Spouse: When your spouse is home, communicate what you need. “Hey do you mind if I go hide in our room for 2 hours so I can get some stuff done that is weighing on me?” Once your two hours are up, put it down and go be fully present as a family unit.
- Grandparents: Do your parents or in-laws live close by? Ask them to come take your kids for a lunch date or hold a crying baby while you take a few minutes for yourself. It might have been a while but they remember these early days of motherhood and most likely they will be thrilled with this special time with your kiddos.
- Kids swap: Have a friend or neighbor who could use a few hours at home to herself swap kids for an afternoon or two. It would look like you taking her kids Tuesday morning for 2-3 hours and her taking your kids on Thursday morning for 2-3 hours. The kids will get to play with each other and most likely come home ready for a nap, just in time for your nap time hustle routine.
- Nap time/quiet time hustle: If your kids are out of the napping phase they still can have an hour of quiet time in their room. Use this hour to accomplish one task you decided is a priority for the day. Set the timer for yourself (and maybe your kid?) and get it done.
Paid Help Ideas:
- Babysitter/Nanny: Designate your weekly work hours and line up your nanny or babysitter for these reoccurring hours each week. Having this time allotted for work puts me at ease because I know I have it scheduled in.
- Mother’s helper: Maybe you have a family friend or neighbor girl who is great with kids and loves to play but isn’t quite old enough to do the kids solo? Offer her a reduced hourly wage to come play with your kids while you work. You could take them all to the park and work on the picnic bench while she pushes your kid on the swing or play hide and seek in the backyard so your kids are entertained and happy. Best part is, she can also get them a snack so you don’t have to!
- Nanny share: If you have 1 or 2 kids (or some kids at home and some kids at school), nanny share could be a game changer. I have a bestie who has a nanny designated Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. On these days I can drop my baby off at her house while her nanny is there and my baby gets to play with her kids. Instead of the nanny making $18 an hour we pay her $22 an hour and split the cost between the two families. So I am paying $11 an hour and my friend is paying $11 an hour. The best part is we each pay less an hour but the nanny makes more money!
Let me say this loud and clear: take care of yourself.
I’m sure you’ve been told this one or two times (or a hundred times) but you will probably need to be reminded every day until you DO make an effort to take care of yourself.
I get the help I need, I move my body (shout out Peloton), I take care of my skin every night (note: this does NOT mean I shower every day!), I invest in myself (lookin’ at you, How Are You, Really? By Jenna Kutcher), and I value sleep. Yep, I may wake up early, but you will not see me in bed scrolling the internet past 10 pm.
What small shifts can you make to take some items off your plate, or rearrange them so it’s not so overwhelming? The beauty of this is you can fix something today. Put your phone in a drawer at 3 pm or text a friend to do a play date/kids swap.
Start small. You’ll get the quick win of gaining back 20 minutes of time and a whole section of your brain.
You’ve got this!