Go With the Dog-on Flow and Let (Sh)it Go
The balancing act of working 10 hour days, squeezing in a quality workout with yoga/Beachbody on Demand combo 6 days a week, offering health coaching sessions and workshops while fulfilling all the glorious tasks of being a mom and wife comes with reminding myself to breathe and that I have a choice of how much I want to be responsible for.
That's right, I have a choice. I am destined to live a life that serves me, my family and my community; calling myself a modern day independent warrior woman means taking control of my life and owning my schedule. Yes, I have to work, but I get to choose how I trade my time for money. No, I don't have to workout, but I love the way I feel emotionally and spiritually from sweating out the bulls**t and appreciate the confidence boost I get from feeling strong. It's definitely my choice to dream big and turn wishes into action with building an additional career as a health & fitness coach.
Successfully managing what I want to do is only possible by going with the dog-on flow and let (sh)it go. Evaluate your schedule as mentioned in my blog called "Best Self". List the "must-dos" and must be done in high standard. Focus your best self in those areas and find joy in doing what must get done. Now anything, and I mean anything, that isn't a must-do becomes your choice to do them. Seriously!! How freeing to think that you don't have to do mundane things. No one has to volunteer and no one has to hang on to one-way relationships that deplete energy and time UNLESS they want to. If the non-essential tasks don't fill your heart with joy or benefit your goals, let that (sh)it go. Nothing and no one is worth feeling tense to the point that it affects your mood.
After some serious evaluation, I realigned my work/life balance and reached out for help. Relying on outside sources like Amazon, Instacart, HelloFresh and a plethora of other delivery companies out there saves time and money. The few dollars on delivery cost is made up by not spending 3 hours pushing a cart around a store the size of an amusement park, and eliminated the temption to purchase items that aren't on the list. There's also the upside of not having impulse foods in the pantry.
Managing mom/wife life and finding time for self-care became much easier when I learned to go with the dog-on flow. Let's be honest for a minute about how much control we refuse to give up and how we fight with the idea of perfection? We think if it's not how we expect it to be done, then it's not good enough. I know, the struggle is real.
The other night was a prime example. I was pissed with my workout music and got mad at the weird lighting situation. I wasted a perfectly good amount of energy focusing on things that didn't matter. My workout ended up becoming extraordinary because I allowed Giovanni and Luna Dog to take over my "work" space, not because I performed the best crow pose, not because I slashed 1,000 calories. Once I disposed of my crappy attitude, shifted my perspective and opened my heart to having some fun, it turned out to be a bonding experience with my kiddo.
I'm not suggesting this is easy at all. It takes patience and letting go just a little (ok, a lot sometimes). We all know how the story goes when our kids or our partner takes on the task of household chores. I'm the first to fixate on what didn't get cleaned correctly or folded neatly and would have to comment. Eventually the love they were attempting to show me by helping turned into them feeling anxious about what I would say. They internalized my nagging as disappointment of them. And this made me feel a tinge of guilt that nothing ever seemed good enough. I knew I had to let some things just be good enough. I still lose my head over insignificant things. Sometimes the feeling is valid. There are so many times that a person can just take it easy about someone "forgetting" daily chores or how to properly complete specific things.
If you can hire out for certain obligations like household duties, I highly recommend it. I completely get staying within budget, but time is priceless. I personally cannot put a price on the satisfaction I feel when I get to spend quality time with my family while a professional cleans our home and manicures the lawn.
If hiring out for household duties isn't manageable right now, then the next suggestion is to have a heart-to-heart with the family. I mean it. Partners and kids hear the words, "If you want fun mom and not stressed out mom, then we work as a family to keep things clean". Seriously. Try it. I know. I can hear the chuckles coming through the computer. Say it with love and mean it. Delegate chores and be prepared that they won't be completed like you want. LET IT GO. Say thank you and offer a soft suggestion on how to improve the task. Don't huff and "do it yourself". Be consistent with giving tasks to your helpers. Teach them how to have fun with the chores. Maybe turn up the tunes and dance through the tasks. Do them together and make it a family affair. Stay true to the fun mom/stressed mom mantra. They will begin to see you differently when you are a happier person, noticing when mom needs help and not just, pardon my French, bitching. Having a less stressed goddess like you to hang out with is the next best thing to perfection for everyone.
The final piece to the go with the dog-on flow... You ready??? Show yourself more appreciation by not being so self-critical. You are a wonder woman doing wonderous things. Replace self-doubt talk with positive words and be your strongest advocate. Holding on to negative feelings about ourselves gets projected onto others, especially those who know us intimately.
So what if you aren't happy with the extra fluff covering your bones? Find time to partake in enjoyable physical activities that inspires you to care for your body in a positive way. Shift the focus of nutrition intake from dieting to adding more nutritious food groups to what you already love. Not sure how to do that? Reach out to me. Let's talk. There are endless suggestions and the best recommendations are the ones that you want to do.
Each and every one of us are fabulous beings destined for happy lives. But happiness is a choice that you must really want, because no one is going to give it to you; and no one can give it to you. Only you can give it to yourself.