Do you ever feel like you go through the bulk of your life smiling and nodding every time a certain topic comes up? Maybe it is grade 11 math. Or how to properly use effect/affect. Or what really happens to a responsible adult’s shopping list once they enter into a Costco.
Then one day it is like BOOM! Your brain decides to adult and you finally ‘get it’.
For me, one of those things has been ‘productivity’ (I’m still working on grammar and bulk-grocery shopping strategies).
I’ve always been of the mindset that I am lazy, unmotivated, complacent. It is true I have been all of those things. It is also true that I have been using that as a blanket statement to areas of my life that it doesn’t fully apply to. Like motherhood.
I won’t beat myself up with the term ‘lazy mom’ any more. Ever since I read this article, How to Overcome Your Own Laziness, I’ve changed my views.
Are you lazy? Or are you overwhelmed?
The first question the article asks is, ‘are you really lazy? or are you overwhelmed?’. How many of us moms feel this smashed up combination of both of these?
The reality of being a mom is that there is just so, so much to get done. Housework, errands, meal planning, intentional parenting, friends, kid activities, staring into your husband’s eyes, pinning cute outfits, self-improvement, your hobbies, making waffles, driving places and answering 78 questions on icicles (and you know I could make this list a few paragraphs longer, but you get it).
Sometimes all of this is trumped by a sick child or that special toddler skill of repeatedly losing shoes they JUST HAD IN THEIR HANDS LIKE ONE SECOND AGO!
WE SET UP EXPECTATIONS FOR HOW OUR DAY SHOULD BE
So here we are with an overflowing list of things to do and we beat ourselves up when we can’t do it all.
We feel unproductive and frustrated at everyone’s demands. Maybe a martyr and resentful that nobody is helping out. Possibly a struggling perfectionist with unrealistic expectations and we label ourselves lazy. #lazymomsunite
I know I’m not a lazy mom, but at the end of the day, that is how I feel.
I can mom it up all day long. Like I’m in.the.game, I’m tossing around snacks, answering questions about icicles, looking over whenever I hear, ‘watch this’, bringing out all the fun crafts, Instagramming all the cute stuff they do. Then I make dinner, Conor comes home, we put the kids to bed and cuddle up on the couch.
Suddenly I’m sitting thinking of all the things that STILL need to get done. Every moment of my ‘downtime’ has a variety of options vying for it, even the little snippets I try to enjoy throughout the day #instagramcoffeebreak.
So here I am at the end of the night and this menacing to-do list pops up in my head. I could do laundry, work out (ha!), write, prep some cooking, email an old friend, eat the rest of the waffles, read one of my many half-finished books. Instead, I just want to sit here beside my cool husband while we laugh at a tv show of lives better and funnier than ours.
Suddenly my only downtime is held hostage by the notion that I am lazy for just relaxing. Which is the definition of downtime!
PRIORITIES ARE MORE HELPFUL THAN CHASING THE NOTION OF ‘BALANCE’
Maybe there are some moms out there who feel on top of all the things before them….goooooood for them! But really, good for them. I personally don’t believe in ‘balance’ in motherhood. I believe in life seasons that come and go with their own difficulty rating, undergarment requirements and life lessons. I believe that this overflowing list of demands in a limited space of time and resources is God’s way of making us choose. We have the luxury and responsibility to regularly choose the things most important to our family, our marriage, ourselves.
We must choose how we spend our days. We must consistently choose and commit. It is an opportunity cost, our choices have a cost attached to them.
Sometimes moms put themselves in this transaction and often cost their own time and resources. Because we don’t want to be lazy. Because there IS so much to do! Because how does everyone else make this look so easy and get it all done!?
I’ve been to the end of google and back looking for this answer. No, really, I used to google this when I first had two kids under two. I thought there was some secret club of together moms who had all the tips and tricks I would need to get my ish together.
HOW TO START CHOOSING HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME IN A DAY
Then I just started choosing. I would write down all the things that were taking up space on my mental to-do list. (It’s called a brain dump) – then I would pick three(ish) things to do that day.
Somedays I do all the housework.
Somedays I do nothing but the creative things I’m passionate about.
Somedays I cook all day long, even include my kids! (code, they do lots of stirring and I do lots of sweeping. Measuring cups are just for show, eat at your own risk).
Somedays we have frozen peas and potato chips for dinner.
Some nights I sit around unfolded laundry and just laugh with my husband.
Some nights we get the whole house cleaned.
Sure, some things make me feel more productive than others, but I can’t neglect the things I enjoy. I can’t hold this label of ‘lazy’ over my own head, or I will never have some peace in rest.
My mental to-do list will never be completed, and I can’t feel like a Lazy Mom for that.
So let’s give up this Lazy Mom label.
There is no perfect balance. Life swells and shrinks with demands, limits and opportunities. Moms can enjoy downtime without being ‘lazy’. Moms need downtime. It makes us better moms because it reminds us that we are more than our to-do list. We are creative, passionate women with hobbies and talents and accumulating Netflix watch lists!!
And if you are ever feeling overwhelmed by it all, I recommend turning your phone off – making some lists (possibly about your goals and dreams), eating some waffles, slapping on some red lipstick and having a kitchen dance party #lifehacked #nextup #netflixmarathon #lazymomsunite
Love Shawna, Your Nerdy Girlfriend + Life Coach Who Thinks Productivity is Another Word for Prioritizing