OK, so you are the uber-Mommy: you have it all. You have a great husband or partner, you have great kids, and you have the job of your dreams—or you’re on the way to it.
So why do you feel like such an utter and complete failure sometimes?
Because, pussycat, you are stretching yourself too thin. Remember playing with Play-Doh when you were a child, how you could stretch it to a certain point before it broke? Well, consider that a graphic representative of you. That lump of Doh represents you: your physical presence, your emotional and mental reach, your energy. You can’t add anything else to it, unfortunately; you are not really Play-Doh, to be smooshed into a larger lump with more of the same substance.
Every part of your life requires and deserves attention, so the key to doing and having it all and not dropping dead of exhaustion is balance. How do you find the right balance in your life?
Write it down. This is the first step to realistically accounting for where your time goes. Whether you use pen and paper or a computer program, plot out everything you do and for which you are responsible. Assign a time value to this stuff—how realistic is this? If you add in time for sleeping, eating, and leisure activities, do you run out of actual clock/calendar time? If so, you need to drop some things, make some changes, and re-evaluate. Everyone must sleep and take time for themselves, especially moms, upon whom everyone else depends so much on!
Reach out. There is no shame in seeking some help. If you can afford it, get a little help around the house or with the kids. A dog walker or someone who can deal with your weekly correspondence or a virtual personal assistant could be just what you need. If money is a problem, talk to other moms and see if you can work out some kind of exchange program: one mom takes everyone else’s kids for an outing on a Saturday, for example, while the others have a date with their partner, sleep in, clean the house, etc. Everyone chips in for snacks and transportation…voila!
Create a family bubble. Sure, you’re a high-powered executive…or else you’re a frazzled HR coordinator whose phone is always ringing. Either way, there are some times when you need to put the phone on standby and let house rules reign. Your family may not seem to mind the constant interruptions during dinner or Little League games right now…but they will. You can check your messages later. Your kids will only be young once.
Set realistic expectations. Face it, dahling, the only way you can do everything perfect and exactly the way the celebs do it is…well, if you’re one of them. Until you’re on the A-list, set your expectations a bit lower. Sure, you want to cook homemade and healthy food for your family, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to grow the organic veggies, use the top-quality hand-fired cookware, served on hand-blown glass plates…all your hands. You get the point, right? Be real. It’s not a sin to use something from a box every now and then, or to shop at a thrift store, or anything else. It’s about balance.