What is it that makes us think we have to do it all?
Motherhood, all by itself, is a full-time job. Keeping a house is a full-time job. Feeding multiple people three-plus meals every single day, 365 days a year, is a full-time job. Homeschooling one child is a full-time job — and homeschooling more than one child? Yeah, it’s a full-time job and a half. Add in all the other parts of your life that require your attention — having a job outside of home, being a partner, being a friend, making time for yourself, showering at least occasionally — and it’s so obvious that “doing it all” is utterly, completely, and absolutely impossible.
That realization should be liberating. The realization that it is physically impossible for us to do it all should free us up to let go of the feeling that we need to do it all. So why doesn’t it? Why, even in the face of this clear, indisputable knowledge of reality, do I feel guilty that I can’t catch up on laundry or that I gave up and ordered a pizza last night because I was in a writing flow and didn’t want to stop? Why do I feel guilty when I give time to work AND guilty when I give time to my family AND crazy-out-of-control-ridiculously-guilty when I give time to myself?
I don’t know. But I do know that I am fighting an uphill battle learning to accept that I cannot do it all, and I need to stop trying to do it all. What, after all, is the problem with last-minute laundry? I do love those beautiful magazine spreads of perfectly folded socks, but in reality, we just need socks to wear when we need them, and pulling them out of the dryer is just as effective for that as a beautiful, rainbow-arranged sock drawer. It’s okay to just get it done. And it’s okay NOT to do it. It’s okay to order pizza, or pay for grocery delivery, or let someone else take care of cleaning the hall bathroom. It’s okay to not get to something one day, even that something is your 11-year-old’s science lab or your winter issue table of contents. It’s okay because you can’t do it all — you have to pick and choose, and you have to live in your choice. Why waste energy and guilt when you are doing something important? Being fully present in one important thing at a time is better than being scattered across an endless to-do list, never taking the time to be in the moment. My goal for 2019 is to let go of multitasking and to take each day moment-by-moment as it comes.
Food for Thought
What am I doing that isn’t important to me in my everyday life? How can I let go of some of the responsibility for that?
How can I make my expectations for myself more reasonable?
What can I be proud of in my everyday life today? How can I celebrate that today?