The last two weeks have been extremely busy for me with attending back-to-back events and having speaking engagements. My stomach started to turn when I saw the sign-up sheet at Ella’s school for their Valentine’s Day Celebration. Don’t they know I’m too busy to bake cookies?! Given my schedule, I decided to go with the napkins this time around. Then, while I was away last weekend, an email for Jude’s class started circulating for Valentine’s Day contributions. What’s amazing to me is that other moms were signing up for not one but two items on the list! Really?? Is this the new norm? I decided to rebel against this new behaviour, and again, signed up for the napkins! Perfect, I thought to myself, the same item for both kids and super easy too 🙂 This was so liberating! Even though I was tempted to try to “be perfect” and sign up to bring home-baked goods for both classes, I really started to feel in control of my own schedule. I found myself asking – “Whose expectations are these anyway?”
This triggered some deeper feelings around the issue. The underlying problem is the expectations we put on ourselves to be what we “think” is “perfect”. We really need to cut ourselves some slack. We just can’t do it all every second of the day, and that’s o-kay. I like to tell my clients that as long as the pool doesn’t go green then they’re doing okay – meaning don’t let any one area get too far off track. There really isn’t such a thing as work-life balance because it’s just not realistic to keep everything going perfectly all at once. We may have a big project to get done for work where we’re burning the midnight oil, and it’s unrealistic to think we might be able to connect with friend or go to the gym during those times. Our child might get sick – for those of you who have kids, you understand how this can throw off your entire plan! I also want to share that with the time I saved slaving over a hot oven, I was able to spend some extra time helping the kids make their valentines. I can’t express to you how special this time was for the three of us, and I am so happy I didn’t try to squeeze in one more thing.
It’s really about letting life flow and taking it easy on ourselves. Know that everything will get done at the right time. Get some help or delegate what you can’t do or need help with. And at the very least, just sign up for the napkins when you’re busy!