I’ve never been big on New Year resolutions, I’m not going to pick a diet, book, or habit to hone in on. In my opinion, these kinds of specific resolutions are doomed for failure. In fact, I would argue that some could even lead to unhealthy cycles of anxiety, guilt, or even shame when not completed to perfection, & frankly no working mom has time for that!
And yes, I know– this post already shows every symptom of a terrible story to publish in January, especially when coming off the high of Holiday celebrations, and especially if you’re the opposite & love this time of year/list making. But hear me out, because I’m not completely opposed to the new year tradition as you can see in years past, published here & here.
I guess the main difference is how I view year-end goal setting, the purpose of starting the year with a clean slate and claiming ambitions, desires, and passions out loud. In that sense, by all means– count me in! I’ll admit my ambitions are likely more generic than most– adventure, simplicity, health, growth… Some call this setting “intentions”, I call it being realistic with my expectations– focusing on forward trajectory over mile markers.
Nevertheless, this year I haven’t even settled on intentions, because I’ve made the lists and then thrown them out. In 2019 I’m setting my sights on one thing and one thing only… juggling.
I know, I know, huge letdown after all the hype, but this a skill I’ve sought after my whole life, one I’ve attempted, practiced, failed, and then picked up again in a vicious cycle of excitement, frustration, disappointment, and resilience. Truth is, I wasn’t even going to write a New Year’s post this time, but after a year dominated by change, I need to stay focused. If there’s one thing I know after all the life, career, and personal curveballs, it’s that I love my family, and that if I don’t continue to maintain a career while loving my two guys, it won’t be me at all anymore.
Things you should know about me: I’m a firm believer that you can have your cake & eat it, too. I’m also extremely stubborn, though I prefer we use the term “resilient”.
Truth is, I make lists all the time, I go over my goals every couple months, and one of my favorite conversations is based on learning about your 2 year, 5 year, and even 10 year plan! Bottom line, my real goals exist independent of the New Year timeline, but I have a serious case of FOMO in almost all things, so here I am.
As far as motherhood in light of career OR career in light of motherhood, that’s a discussion far too complex for this one post, but let’s just say that on top of being a juggling act, it’s a jigsaw puzzle, a maze, and it feels like a circus act almost every time we go through an airport. Motherhood is the most surprisingly beautiful act of chaos you could imagine. And that babe, I mean– the limit does not exist for how much I love him!!!
At the same time, career is still incredibly fulfilling, and I don’t feel guilty saying that. I always knew I wanted to work while having a family, though I’ll admit, I always left room for that to change should I think differently once I actually had kids. I don’t think there’s any wrong answer here, I simply know that for me, being a great wife & mom means honoring this other side of me that also exists and serves purpose.
So, how do you juggle?… Well, that’s what I’m still figuring out. So far my strategy has been to take as many opportunities as I can, while being strategic about my distribution of time. I’m a firm believer in saying “yes” to new opportunities, and seeing where new ideas, doors, and networks lead. That being said, I have passions, and then I have jobs that pay the bills, sometimes they intersect beautifully, other days it’s about being a grown-up & getting sh*t done, or even putting paycheck over passion. Unfortunately, we only have those 24hrs to work with, and those hours fly by as a working mom, so strategic meaningful time distribution is critical to finding a healthy balance.
Also, in case you’re wondering, I’m not following any specific methodology here, this is purely based on personal experience and the advice from other women I respect in their roles as moms and/or professionals. If you have practical tips or simply more experience to shed light on this subject, please feel free to chime in!
In 2019, nothing matters more to me than my family, but I know that loving them well means maintaining my sense of self in the process. At the end of the day, after drafting all those lists, I realized I could attempt to micromanage my life by committing to a million little things, or I could commit to learning one thing really well: i.e., learning to juggle.
Bottom line, don’t get so caught up in your New year’s Resolutions that you forget the big picture– aim high, but keep it simple, and never give up on who you want to be simply because you indulged in extra carbs at dinner, or slept through your workout this morning. Rather than creating a list that demands drastic life changes at the strike of midnight, commit to one big thing overall, and one little thing at a time. Give yourself direction and then give yourself grace, developing character and a lifestyle that will sustain you for years to come!