Each and every single day over the last few months I seem to wake up with this same question on my mind: what hat am I going to wear today? Do I be a working mom, and hustle to make money so that I can put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads? Do I wear the “good mom” hat today, and give them my full focused attention, enjoy brain stimulating activities with them and connect with my little ones in a way that will create a lifetime of lovely memories? (Hell, one of my little ones is a teenager going through their own things, who am I kidding) Do I wear the teacher hat, so that my children don’t fall behind on their education during this worldwide life changing pandemic? By the way, what am I going to do about school in a few weeks? Am I even smart enough to teach my children, I haven’t been to school in 10, 15+ years, haven’t things changed? But wait, don’t I also have to make sure the house is clean (yes, my children help, but with everyone at home and everything changing, even with everyone pitching in, this is madness), cook 3 meals a day (or eat dry cereal and microwavable dinners in front of the TV, who is judging?), oh but hold on, how much screen time are the kids getting every day? How is their mental health? How is MY mental health? When did I last put on the hat that makes sure I am doing self care and taking time for me? BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! If you’re like me, what about the entrepreneur hat? When do we get to wear that one? I already have 5 projects on the go and 16 more on the backburner and 27 other ideas just waiting to be thought of. And for the cherry on top, nothing is normal right now. This is not a new normal. Life is chaos. Uncertain. Ever changing. Exhausting. And overwhelming.
More than once over the past few months I have found myself feeling frustrated with how much I have on my plate and the reality of what I am working with on a day to day basis. And it’s not that I am not grateful for what’s in my life, it’s just that, as we all know, this is new and adapting to what is always changing and making things work doesn’t always pan out the way we want. And it’s hard to sometimes just accept the constant changing, when you’re someone like me, who has struggled for so long to find stability and security in their life, a life that now depends on you to keep a float.
I know there is a lot to be said abut scheduling and organizing your life, and not taking on more than we can handle at any given time, but sometimes, these times, it’s not always possible. But I read something the other week that really resonated with me and has helped me with this, and it’s something I wanted to pass along to you or anyone who may be struggling right now.
Progress is progress, no matter how small. Forward momentum is forward momentum. One small step in the direction you want to go is a STEP, it’s movement, and going forward feels SOOOOO good.
Is your house an absolute mess and you feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start? Wash a load of dishes. Throw a basket of clothes in the wash. Take a bag of trash out. Is your house now magically clean? Of course not, don’t be silly. But are you making progress? Are you one step closer? Celebrate that as much.
Are you up to your eyeballs in work? Clean out your email. Make one single phone call. Take down all your voicemail messages and prioritize them. Are you back on top of the corporate world? Hell no. But you’re feeling like a boss now, checking off those to dos.
Kids got you feeling like you’re not spending enough quality time with them? Make it a throw a pizza in the oven night, crank some fun tunes and have a 20 minute dance party before eating dinner in front of the TV. Are you a perfect parent? Yup, because your kids are soaking up your undivided love, and they get to have a fun family meal together. Quality, people. Don’t over think it.
Completely lost on where to get started? Give yourself 5 minutes outside in the fresh air, breathe deep, shut your brain off as best as you can. Common, you can give yourself 5 minutes. Pretend you have to use the washroom and slip out the window. NO ONE questions someone whose in the bathroom for 5 minutes, they’ll probably give you 10 just in case you need to air it out. **side note… single mommas. I feel you. I have been you most of my life. Give them 1- minutes of screen time and throw goldfish at them. I will never on my life judge you. I promise. Then I want you to come out calm, level headed, and I want you to sit down with a pen and paper and brain dump. That’s right. I just want you to start writing out all your to dos, should dos, need to dos, someone else wants you to dos, big dreams, desires, needs, whatever your soul and mind and body are craving. Sometimes we have no idea what to do until we start doing it, so writing everything down and letting it all flow out like a flood is hugely beneficial. You do not have to do anything with this list once it’s done, you don’t need to do a single thing on it, it’s just a way to get it all out of your head to let your brain relax a little bit. It’s a start. And you know what? That list is one small step towards making a difference in your life.
None of these small steps are going to be a quick magical fix for the problems in your life, for your struggles, for the overwhelming sense of drowning you may be feeling as we try to navigate through life right now. Many of us are grieving for the life we lost and the changes we are being forced to make that we never dreamed we would be faced with. But one small step is all we need to move forward, to feel like we are making a difference, to motivate ourselves to take control of what we can control once more. Those small steps forward will help you have another successful day and help you sleep a little better at night because you are doing something for yourself, your life, your children, that’s forward progress and one step in the right direction.
So my challenge for you reading this? Make one small step today, focus on that one thing, and congratulate yourself for it. You are strong. You are capable. You are not alone, and we can depend on one another to get through this, together.
Much love my friends.
Author Carissa McIntyre,
Lady Mack Xo