Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
Nataly's profile on Work It, Mom!
One of the most popular topics we talk about here at Work It, Mom! is the fact that work-life balance is a farce and it’s more like a work-life juggle, in which you have to accept that you’ll drop the balls more often than you’ll catch them all. I can’t count how many times I’ve talked to another working mom, listened to her tell me how stressed she is from everything she has to do, and gave her advice to let some things go and not beat herself up for doing 100% in all areas of her life.
And here’s a confession: I’ve often not followed that advice.
I’ve been a working mom for more than 7 years now. And while I know, with 100% certainty that it is absolutely positively impossible to do it all, I don’t think I’ve actually let go of trying to do it all until very recently (and probably not completely). “I can figure out a way to defy the odds,” I’d think, as I cooked at midnight so that my kiddo would have a freshly prepared dinner the next day, or got up at 5am to make it to a spin class at the gym, or worked 16 hour days… for weeks. It’s almost like I had this game I was playing: It was me against the reality that as a mom with a demanding career I was going to have to let some things go. I rarely felt like I was winning — although there are always those absolutely kick-ass days when you feel like a superwoman, you know? — but I kept playing.
I think I’ve done a pretty good job as a mom and I don’t completely suck at my job, but probably the biggest victim of my attempt to be a superwoman has been me. Until very recently taking care of myself was fairly low on my priority list, for the most part. I’m a big foodie and believe very strong in eating well and healthy and feeding my family this way. So this has been one way in which I have taken care of myself (and my family). And sure, working out regularly is a good idea, but cutting my sleep hours to 5 a night to do it I think had done more harm than good. One of the ways I chill out and restore from stress best is to hang by myself for a bit but guilt and the endless to-do list has prevented me from letting myself do this since I became a mom.
I can keep going with ways in which I poured my energy in trying to be a supermom while neglecting to take care of the supermom, but instead I want to tell you that I think I really get that it’s a dumb goal to have. First of all, it’s impossible. I’m too tired, too stressed, and too un-fun to enjoy myself or be enjoyable to my family and friends if I never take a breath. But more importantly, it’s not necessary. Life goes in stages and being a working mom is a stage — a long, difficult, amazing, challenging one, but just a stage. There are stages before and after it and there is plenty of time to try to fire on all cylinders. What I really get now is that this is my stage, my time, to not be perfect or try to be perfect at everything I do, but instead, to do as much as I can, to try and be present in whatever I’m doing, and to not put taking care of myself last.
I think I really get this now, but I’ll report back, I promise.
Do you find that you try to be a superwoman even though you know it’s not really possible? How do you deal with letting some things or prior priorities slide?
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