I get asked all the time how I manage it all. Four kids in four different schools....owning a business....managing a household. My answer usually depends on how I am feeling that particular day. The fact is that there are days when I feel like I am not managing it all...and other days when I feel like a superstar.
The fact is that I have easier than most working moms. Because I have my own business, I control my schedule. I decide when to go to the office, when to work from home, and when I would rather be with my children. And no one can say a damn thing about it. So I don't want to give anyone the false impression that I am any busier than any other working mom. We are all in the same sandbox.
I believe that every one of us -- whether working outside the home or not, whether we have 1 child or 6, whether we are single or married -- are all feeling stressed and overwhelmed at times by the responsibilities of motherhood. To that end, here are a few tips that are working for me these days:
1. I have my priorities straight. My kids come first; everything else comes second. That does not mean I always choose my kids over work or other activitie, but it does mean that when my kids need me, I am there for them.
2. I stay in the moment. This is a tip that I have been using consistently ever since I started this business. It turns out that viewing a task as a whole can be really overwhelming, but if you just stay in the moment and focus on where you are and what you are doing right then, things get done and you experience less stress.
3. I am not a perfectionist in most areas of my life; I have learned to embrace the "good enough" philosophy. My house is not spotless but it is clean enough. The meals I prepare for my family may not be organic or vegan or free-range, but they are nutritious enough. Seriously, when did we all get the idea that we have to do everything perfectly? If you want to feel less stressed, let that go.
4. I let my kids know every day, in no uncertain terms, that I love them more than anything else in the universe. My kids understand that I also enjoy working, spending time with my friends, and many other things, but I love them the most. And so no matter what I am doing, I can relax and enjoy myself knowing my kids know they are loved.
5. I get as much support as I can. I hired a business partner, Maureen, who is much smarter than I am and runs the business side of momAgenda because that is not my strong suit. I have an amazing nanny, Sara, who my kids (and I) adore. I have family nearby who give my kids more love so that my husband and I are not the only ones raising them. All this support makes me better at everything I do.
How do you manage the stress in your lilfe?