I believe 2021 will slowly evolve into a better year.
In the meantime, as I’ve navigated these first few weeks/months of 2021 (which have felt a little chaotic in my world!), a few mantras have been running on repeat to remind me that everything is going to be just fine. I’m sharing these in hopes that they help you, too – if some days have been a little harder than others, or if you just need some quick reminders. Just remember that you are one human with a lot going on. And, quite frankly, probably crushing it, so keep doing that and remind yourself of the following:
Mantra #1: I can only do one thing at a time.
This is actually a line that was part of a leadership training I participated in about a year ago. It’s simple, but I think a lot of moms have a need to do all the things at once. Or, at least figure out how to get the most out of every single minute. While attempting this often feels like it would save time, I’ve noticed that I’m less successful in the task or more prone to mistakes if I’m trying to do multiple things at once. When I get overwhelmed (which is a lot, TBH), the first thing I do is stop and assess if I’m trying to do too much at once. If I am (which is usually the case), I determine the priority and focus on that completely, and then circle back to the next thing. It might take more time, but the result is usually better, and my sanity is slightly saved for that point in time.
Mantra #2: I can’t give what I don’t have.
This applies mentally, emotionally, physically, and on any other level. I quite literally can’t give you information I don’t have. I also can’t give you time if I’m maxed out, and the clock has run out on that 24-hour day. Further, if I’m not taking care of myself, I’m going to struggle to give anyone anything back. I can do it, but it’s not pretty, and I won’t give it without resentment. This line is a lot like how you can’t pour from an empty cup, but extending this to the very literal sense of – if I don’t have something, I can’t give it to you. So, stop asking. And if you do ask and I just don’t have it, I’ll tell you, in the nicest way possible that I can’t give you what I don’t have.
Mantra #3: I can only control what I say and do.
Did a co-worker say something crazy? Did my 3-year-old scream in my face? Did someone come into my house without a mask? Yup, yup, and yup. I have absolutely zero control over what these other humans say, do, or don’t do. I am in control of my response and my own actions (ok, most of the time) and have to be accountable for those things. If I’m just the messenger in a situation – I’m not responsible for what that crazy person said, I’m just telling you. I can almost guarantee crazy words or actions coming from someone else in my direction will be met with a blank stare and an “uh huh” or “ok.” And then we’ll talk about it once I get over my shock of the crazy words/actions.
That’s it! Strangely enough, just reminding myself of these quick lines help me when things get a little tough. I’m only human, after all.