“I’m a mother! I don’t have time for that!”
Have you ever caught yourself saying those words? Maybe to your friends? Your husband? Or even yourself?
I did just that this week, and it was a huge wake up call.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have felt very unfocused and tired.
I have been working on a couple of side projects while balancing work and life with an increasingly clever and active toddler. My goals in all areas have been building up on my to-do list and I cannot scratch them off soon enough.
In a Facebook business group that I’m a part of, someone posted “Where are you feeling like you need the most help and/or guidance in your business right now?” (I love being part of Facebook groups to get support!)
I replied, “Staying focused. I’m feeling overwhelm from how much I need to do and burnout from working full time and side hustling.”
Another member responded and asked me what I am doing in terms of self care. Her exact words were, “What is your self care practice?”
I let out a BIG scoff.
My immediate response was, “Self care practice? I’m a mom trying to start a business. I don’t have time for self care!”
I stopped in my tracks and thought, “Yikes! That is my problem!”
My busy-ness has crowded out what should be a top priority – my self care.
I have completely ignored my self care in the name of progress, and ironically, it is my lack of self care that is holding me back from progressing in my work.
My meditation practice is non-existent at this point and going to yoga feels like visiting a foreign land. I find myself going to bed at 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM. And even when I get into bed, I play a couple of rounds of Candy Crush before shutting my phone down because I need to “unwind” before bed. Oh the shame in admitting that!
That Facebook post was my wake up call.
I have a false belief that suffering must be part of my journey to greatness.
Logically, I know better but a deep part of me sees it as a requirement to “make it.” This is definitely one of my biggest forms of self sabotage, and since becoming a mother, it seems to have magnified. Can you relate to that?
Mothers and entrepreneurs are suckers for martyrdom. As I straddle both worlds, I have definitely doubled down on the “woe is me” attitude. But I know it doesn’t have to be that way.
I need a plan to combat that attitude.
First things first, I need to return to meditating. I have let my need for busy-ness take over and not meditating has amplified the busy thoughts in my mind. The goal is 10 minutes daily, and I have a friend I’m checking in with to hold me accountable.
Second, I need to stop wearing “busy” as a badge of honor. Busy is a choice and a poor excuse. I need to stop being too “busy” to meditate, go to yoga, sleep, read a romance novel, spend time with my husband, and buy new clothes. These are all things that I have de-prioritized in the name of progress. One way to remove that badge is to remove “busy” from my vocabulary. I have actually heard my daughter use it several times to pre-empt my saying it, and it feels like nails on a chalkboard. I need to be a better model for my daughter.
Lastly, I need to re-frame how I think about time. I am and will always be an impatient person. When I start a project, I want it to have already come to fruition and to meet my goals so I can move to the next thing. However, time is the ultimate equalizer. We all have 24 hours in a day, and as much as I want to manipulate time to my advantage, I can’t add any more hours to my days. I need to work within the confines of 24 hours and 7 hours of that being for sleep. Also, my projects deserve all of the time they need to be created. I need to take the approach of slow and steady wins the race and any other way leads to burnout.
On my third Mother’s Day, I pledge to release my martyrdom.
I want to enjoy my motherhood and I want to enjoy my journey into entrepreneurship. It does not serve me or any other women out there to justify suffering as a requirement to achieve our goals and it does not serve our children either. Will you join me in unlatching and releasing those shackles and truly embracing the journey?