6 Things It's Perfectly OK To Give Up If You're A Working Mom
Not sure about you guys, but I'd be OK if 2016 was the year we all stopped talking about work / life balance for working moms. I'm super guilty of it too, so I don't say that to point fingers. I just think the conversation has been going on long enough that we've mostly seen that the elusive idea of "balance" is less of a noun and more of a verb, something we're doing on a daily basis that requires constant adjustment and adaptation. Like, our jobs change, our personal lives change, our kiddos grow and change, and need us at different hours of the day and night. What works one week will probably not work the following week, unless you have one of those jobs that has a really consistent schedule and one (or more) of those kids who are really considerate and never ask for or need anything outside of regular daytime hours (ha).
All that said, since becoming a working mom, something I've been trying to get handle on is prioritizing; as in, trying to figure out just what the basics are to keep me functioning like a human. So, in the precious minutes I have available is it more important for me to vacuum the living room, fold the laundry, or sit down and zone out for ten minutes? (Wait, don't answer that. The answer might be too bleak.)
Maybe the question isn't "Is it more important?" but "What will make you feel better?" I think moms are allowed to ask ourselves that. Here are the things I often find myself choosing to just...let go of:
That Extra Hour Of Sleep
I mean, please don't give up so much sleep that your health suffers. That's not what I'm trying to say. But if you need to stay up late or get up early to do the things you love to do (in my case, reading celebrity tweets on my phone), then by all means, you do you. #YOLO.
The Occasional Girls' Night
If girls night always took place in my living room and involved sweatpants and jigsaw puzzles, I would never miss one. But since it often requires getting ready time, going out, and just...well...time, I have to admit that I've declined more than one invite since my little arrived.
If you're in a position to make choices about how many hours you put in, then I've got your back when you decide not to go that extra mile, and snuggle your kiddo instead. There are only so many hours in the week, and when you're a mom and a person who works, you have to draw the line somewhere, and it probably won't be where you would draw the line if you weren't a parent.
Getting Around To All The Chores
For my whole life, I've never been good at chores. I possess that weird talent to be able to look past clutter and go about my business as if there is not a pile of laundry next to the bed or dishes in the sink. I know, what a gift, right? Some people can sing or paint or dance, and here's me, ignoring my domestic responsibilities. But seriously though, our main household spaces take priority, but if there's clutter in another place, I'm not sweating it until the weekend.
Streaming & Binging
I miss my shows, you guys. I really do. For example, until the birth of my son, I was a loyal member of the Bachelor Nation, and an avid reader of Entertainment Weekly, staying up-to-date on my favorite shows. But since his arrival? Yeah, no. I'm not proud to admit this, but I've yet to watch the Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp episodes that came out last summer, and I consider WHAS to be one of my favorite movies. But you know what? I'll get to it eventually. In the meantime, I'm not stressing about it.
Anything That Doesn't Feel Important TO YOU
A number of my girlfriends who are also working moms have made different choices when it comes to their priorities. I would argue that theres's no right or wrong way to find your groove (assuming, of course, that your little is cared for and you aren't going insane in the process). Do I agree with all of their decisions? No, I can't say that I do. But do they care? I sure hope not. Should they care? Definitely not. Time is precious. This is where I'm reminded of all those cliches that get thrown around while our kids our little: "They're only this age once;" "Blink and you'll miss it;" "The days are long but the years are short;" "Don't press too firmly with the diaper wipes;" etc. As long as your choices suit your needs and your family needs, that's a win as far as I'm concerned.
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