The baby came first, then the business. It was like raising twins, except each child was in a different house, miles apart. I constantly felt like I was failing. Societal expectations and the media were always reminding me how I lacked something. In three years, I could count on one hand the number of times when I felt like I had a win in the mommy column and in the work column at the same time. The limiting belief I accepted was that my laziness was keeping me from winning at everything. The story I kept telling myself was if I worked harder, then I could have it all.
Sniff.. Can you smell that load of b.s.? It was a whole diaper pail full.
I was rushing around so fast and put everyone and everything before myself. The universe finally gave me the break I needed, by breaking my ankle last April. Laid up on the couch, I started to put my priorities in the right order.
I realized that there is no one right or wrong way to raise a baby or a business. There are countless books on how to do it, plenty of experts claiming to have the best way, and you’re never at a shortage for social media posts that make you feel like crap about the way you are doing it. But there are no shortcuts, you just have to work through it and learn as you go.
My limiting belief needed to change and I had to come up with a better story. I asked myself some hard questions and dug into why I thought the way I did.
What is the “it” of ‘having it all’? What does “it” mean to me?
I will never be enough if I am measuring myself against someone else, so what are my standards?
What is my definition of success?
My answers helped me to flip the script in my head and get honest about my lack of happiness. I was working too much. I needed help.
Overcoming the Limiting Belief: Self Care is a Must.
I finally realized that there was no self care going on at all. It was only work and family with no time for fun. Under the advice of my business coach, I challenged myself to make art. At first, I felt guilty, “I don’t have time for this, I have so many things to do!” But by making space for myself, I was able to re-engage and re-energize myself on a creative level. I invited my son to join me on my art dates and got the win in both columns. As I began to prioritize my happiness with my health and well being first, every other priority fell into place and I could see solutions that were never an option before.
You too? Make a time budget.
If you feel stuck and don’t know how to find time for yourself, make a time budget. Treat ‘time’ like money and budget how much time you can afford for different activities. Think of time spent doing things/being with people you don’t enjoy as an expense. Is it worth it? It is okay to cut out negative people/ obligations/ societal have-tos that don’t fulfill you. If it isn’t contributing to your bottom line of happiness and joy, they are an unnecessary expense. This practice will allow you to increase the time for the things that make you happy.
The list of things I have to do is still very long, but it has become easier to say ‘no’ to things, people, and ideas. I have become better about setting boundaries and informing people of them. I no longer believe that I am lazy. I still work very hard, but now take the time to check in with myself. With the cost of healthcare only rising, I can’t afford another broken bone!