On Being Supermom, Part I

This is the first in a series about being a writing, working, mom, and finding time to achieve your dreams while having a career and raising a family, without neglecting your hubby and living off take-out.

…I’m supermom and I’m here to save the world…

Growing up, you’re told that you can be anything, that you can have it all.

But what they don’t tell you is that no matter what you do, it’s a ton of work.

Having a career—work.

Having a marriage/relationship—work.

Kids—more work.

Doing what you love—work, especially in trying to squeeze it in around everything else.

But all that work you do (hopefully) pays off. It might not pay off in a tangible way. It might payoff in snuggles and walks while holding hands. It might pay off in personal satisfaction or never having to change another diaper.

It might payoff in making mommy happy.

The saying if mom’s not happy no one’s happy is very true.

I’ve looked at those articles about “secrets of a happy mom.” Usually the key is living a simple life.

That’s a load of baloney.

I live a horrifically complicated life.

Guess what? I’m a happy mom (usually :))

The secret is, I don’t have it *all*.

I have what I *want*. (Okay, I have what matters most to me. I have a job I love, a wonderful hubby and family, and am on my way to making my lifelong dream of publication a reality.)

Having what matters most to me makes it easier for me to put in all that hard work. It’s easier to find time when you *want* to do something and it’s important to you.
Of course, from time to time you still have to find time to do things you don’t want to do. Unfortunately, the toilet doesn’t clean itself.

Sometimes, you have to work, not for the sake of fulfillment, but for the sake of paying the bills (or do other things.) That’s when filling your life with what you want, helps. Then, when you’re doing something you don’t like, you can think of how doing so impacts what *is* important to you – or reward yourself for getting those tasks done.

I know what I want out of life. I know what I need out of life. I'm working to arrange my life to make those things happen, to fill my life with the people, things, and activities that make me a happy mom and to find time for all those things. I also know that sometimes what you wants changes, and that’s okay. Priorities change, and with it changes how you allocate your time.

Making time can be a big challenge.

Part of making time means knowing what you’re willing and able to let go of. For everyone it’s different. For me, it’s housework. Yes, I do housework, but I have come to terms with the fact that my house will never be immaculate like mine was growing up. I do what needs done, but I don’t obsess over the small things.

I wish I could get rid of my horrific time suck of a commute. But right now that’s not an option. So, I have to use the rest of my time as well as possible.

It also means you get creative with scheduling to find time for everything that you want and need to do – and not just work and your passions, but your family, or friends, or pets or whatever is important to you. Real balance means trying hard to not neglect one thing that you love one for another.

I write at lunch on my laptop. I’ll shut off the computer at a certain point after the tot goes to bed in order spend time with the hubby. I don’t always check email and the like in the evenings so I can spend time with the tot. I am learning to love my Crockpot and have the makings for a couple of easy, cheap, healthy dinners in the freezer. On the weekends we have both “sleep in fun day” and “chores day.”

It’s a work in progress that constantly evolves and changes. But there’s a method to my madness and it what enables me to be a happy mom, even among that chaos.

Are you a “happy mom?” What makes/would make you a “happy mom?”

1 comment:

Julia Barrett said...

Well, being a good mom makes me a happy mom. Being there for my kids and my hubby when they need me and even when they don't. I never believed I could have it all. Therefore, I hire a cleaning lady. First of all, if I had to clean, I'd never have time for anything else. Secondly, I would starve rather than give her up. Third, I believe in spreading the wealth. Read The Ladies Detective Agency - the protagonist espouses a lovely philosophy about hiring help - she removed all my guilt.