I spend a lot of timing talking with young mothers. No matter how different another mother may seem, there are still so many similarities and areas of common ground. I think many mothers would say that their hearts are bursting with joy and love for their children and simultaneously they are dog tired and maxed out.
When I am listening to these sweet mamas who are trying so dang hard—not to be the best, not to be perfect, just to be normal-pretty-darn-good-moms—it always seems to come back to wanting less. Less to do, less to clean, less to fulfill, less to juggle, less to find, less to worry about. Less!
So … what to do?
It is not an easy answer and it totally depends on your life, but to me, we can never go wrong simplifying. Simplify our homes. Simplify our schedules. Buy less. Admire less. Pin less. Have less.
This is very easy and very hard at the same time. I totally get it. And I know reading these words can seem like more (!!!) to do. So here are some suggestions if you find yourself wanting to make a change.
1. Limit Commitments. Think of your commitments that are negotiable. If there is any wiggle room at all and it doesn’t bring you incredible amounts of joy, remove it from your calendar or to-do list. Maybe not forever, but at least for now. Things like the extra unnecessary project at work, the birthday party way across town, the board seat you don’t really believe in or coffee dates with a friend who just brings you down. There are some things in life we have to do—everything else is a choice. Find the things you don’t really enjoy and don’t have to do and drop them like a bad habit. There might be some guilt with this, but it will be so worth the time and mental space gained.
2. Reduce Clutter. Our stuff drags us down. With fewer things, we have less to clean. Our houses feel more spacious. We have fewer decisions to make. It is easier to find something we lose. We have less to maintain. We have more in our bank account. Are you noticing a trend here? Have less to have more.
3. Remove Little Aggravations. We used to have a kitchen garbage can with a broken lid. It wasn’t the biggest deal, but I only realized how much it aggravated me once I finally replaced it. Little annoyances like these pile up throughout the day. How many of them do you have in your life? How is it affecting your mindset? Make a list and commit to ridding your life of these small but impactful aggravations. Maybe even bring in the pros to help (see #4). It will do more for your sanity than I can say.
4. Bring In The Pros. Even if it isn’t in your budget, where might it be beneficial to get help? Housekeeper? Lawn service? Handyman? Painter? Professional organizer (I couldn’t resist :))? Date night babysitter? It might feel indulgent or too expensive, but consider it an investment in your mental health. It will be cheaper than therapy! And if you can totally afford it, stop trying to do it all yourself. Who needs that gold medal? That’s a race I have no interest in winning.
Hang in there, mamas! You are doing the best you can!