Article written by Ellen Ahrendsen
Moms- we have all been there. Exhausted, worn down, hopeless, and it is not even 7am. For me, a regular morning starts at 5:15 because that is the only time I have before the kids wake up (most days). Then it is straight to the grind. We are the boss of our businesses, our careers, and our homes. No matter what we do, we are juggling a million things.
5:15 am turns into 5:45ish am when the kids wake up, breakfast time and getting dressed before the park, soccer, another play date, lunch, nap, and then figuring out how on earth to keep them occupied until bed. During their naps, it is all about writing, blogging, gaining publicity, laundry, cleaning, ordering groceries, ordering things for the kids, prepping dinner, and trying to sit down knowing it will be the only time of the day I get to do it. This is all on a non-work day.
How is it possible that we can do this? We, as women, put pressure on ourselves to get absolutely everything done on our own. We think our way is the only way. We do not ask for help, especially when we need it. We feel that we need to do it all.
What is Mommy Bossing?
Mommy Bossing is a new term that I have created. We not only are living our work lives, but we are mommy-ing. We are Mommy Bossing every single day whether we know it or not. Breaks are few and far between. All we want is some time to ourselves, but we are lost at how to find it. Just last night, I wanted to take a quick shower as it was my only time alone. All I heard were the kids screaming for me, refusing to go to bed. I had no alone time even though I was indeed alone in the shower. Juggling this all is so hard, frustrating, and sometimes seems downright impossible.
So what can we do?
Ask For Help!
Why are we so afraid to say “I need help.”?
It is one of the hardest sentences that one can utter. It feels like we are saying we are incapable of doing something or that we failed. This is absolutely the opposite! We are doing ourselves a favor when we ask for help. This is one of the best pieces of advice I got when I was pregnant. Someone told me to never worry about asking for help once the kids arrived (twins). I knew I would need it.
What I didn’t know was that my son would be born with a life threatening birth defect. I needed an entire village. And by asking for help, I got it. I was able to be less worried about tedious things like laundry or dinners. I was able to put the energy needed towards the care of my son in the hospital and my daughter at home.
Commit to at least 3-4 hours a week to yourself. Schedule it!
This could be a morning walk, meditation, time at the spa, or anything that makes you happy! You can do small things everyday or wait until you have a few hours to yourself on the weekend. I personally enjoy my time at 5:15 in the morning (even though that is so dang early!), and I have some time to myself every Saturday to get massages and do errands or other things. I enjoy this time so much; my husband knows he is in charge during that time. It is on the schedule, and it is something I look forward to every week.
Let go of expectations
I have a box where I put in all of the things I feel like I need to control, but in reality I cannot. It is called “My God Box.” It does not have to be religious, rather I think of it as spiritual as I believe in a higher power that some would call God. By putting these uncontrollable expectations in this box, I am handing it over to the Universe acknowledging that I no longer have control of the situation.
This box is full of things as simple as “I need to stop obsessing over how I expect my family to act,” or other things like “I need to stop trying to control the outcome of a certain situation (say applications for preschool for example).” I do not have control over how people act or how every preschool has a different application process. I do not have control on whether or not the kids will be accepted to certain preschools due to wait lists.
By handing these situations over, I am letting go of my expectations knowing that the Universe has control. Not everyone has to let go of expectations this way. It is simply the way I do it, but everyone is on their own journey and can determine the best way forward for themselves.
These are 3 main things all of us can work on. They may sound simple. But the Mommy Boss in all of us needs these tools in order to live a life where we don’t need to do it all, where we can have time to ourselves, and where we can thrive even more than we already are.