Summertime hits and you’ve got goals. You’ve only got a short window to fit everything in. You want to be the mom or dad who helps create awesome memories for your kids during summer, but then you remember that you can’t just write your boss a letter and say “gone fishin’”. Balancing life and kids is extremely difficult and sometimes it results in feelings of guilt when you feel you just can’t do it all. Summer house reno plans, vacation, activities and healthy eating, bringing out the best in your kids, and aspiring to your own goals just seems out of reach when so much is happening. This post is a reminder that you can’t be all things and you can’t do all things. This post is a reminder to drop the guilt and try to be in the moment. You can live in the moment, and have a lot of fun doing it, by letting go of the things that are out of your control.
Acceptance: Accepting that you’re feeling stretched might be a first step in starting to regain your time and your ability to be in the moment. Accepting that time is finite and that you can’t possibly do all things is another healthy and realistic way of looking at things. Change what you can, and accept the things you cannot change.
Making the most of your time: It’s a very human activity to aspire. Aspiring to new things. Aspiring for better things. Aspiring for greatness and perfection is not all that uncommon. Sometimes we get excited to sign on to new things, only to realize our time is limited. Sometimes when we feel overburdened and want to “check out”. If you feel you’ve overbooked yourself, it might be time to sign off of some things and give yourself a break. Unfortunately, we can’t “sign off” of our parenting responsibilities, but it’s definitely ok to start thinking about what you’re spending most of your time doing (unhealthy habits? TV? Social media?), and which of those things you can cut out. It’s time to stop stressing about all the things you haven’t done (past) or can’t fit in (future), take a deep breath and appreciate right now. Focus on what you have right now. Living in the moment is not an easy task for parents who are sometimes consumed with guilt (what you didn’t do as a parent or what you could have done better) and what you feel your limitations are in your future endeavours. Right now is when life is happening. Enjoy it.
Letting go: As parents, sometimes we feel like even the littlest of our goals can defeat us when we’re being stretched in so many directions. The other day I had attempted to move a pile of rocks in my driveway that I was tired of looking at- I mean it’s been there for far TOO LONG. I finally had a chunk of time available to tackle the problem. Within 20 minutes, someone was vying for my time and attention. Frustrated? Yes. I decided to take a breath. I evaluated which was more important, and chose to enjoy my time regardless. Big feelings of defeat doom us when we choose to focus on what we haven’t done. Making mini-goals can make big goals seem much more attainable. When I realized that I had “started” I did feel a sense of accomplishment. Let go of what you can’t help. Mini-goals are your friend. Celebrate your small victories and shrug your shoulders when you can’t help what’s going on around you.
You might aspire to be a superhero most days, but don’t forget you’re human and you can’t possibly be all things. So pick a couple things that are important to you, recognize your limitations, forgive yourself, and embrace right now.