I am frequently asked how I do everything. I have two toddler boys, a newborn, clients’work to do, blogs to write for and my own blog to manage. I don’t notice all that I do because its just a way of life for me now, but I definitely have given up some things in the short term to pursue my goals in the long term. Its because I’m only human, and I can’t do everything to achieve everything. Something’s gotta give. Here’s what I let go of to achieve a blog with a regular readership, rising page views, increasing followers and income.
- TV: I rarely watch TV. I used to like to stay up and watch a reality show here and there. I can’t do that anymore. If I let myself get sucked into an episode, I lose valuable productive time. I do sometimes have shows on in the background while I’m working, but I am never watching, and I couldn’t tell you half of what happened. For some, their shows are a non-negotiable topic. They live for their quiet moments, immersed in another world on TV. Well that’s okay. My point here is that I had to give something up in order to fit more in, and its up to you what that might be. For me, television was a pretty easy one.
- Cooking: I’ve never been much of a cook. I snack a lot, eat whenever I feel hungry and never schedule myself around meal times. This doesn’t make me the best homemaker when it comes to food. I attempt to cook meals I know all my boys, including my husband like that are super quick and easy. Spaghetti from a jar with meat. It doesn’t get much easier than jar sauce, and they love it. But, that’s about the most gourmet I get. My husband sweetly picks up on the cooking for me. If he sees I haven’t even thought about any sort of dinner, and its after 4:30pm, he’ll come up with something and help me. I pretty much specialize in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bagels and cream cheese. But, since I don’t spend much time meal planning and cooking, I have the extra time and energy to devote elsewhere, like my blog.
- Sleep: I love to stay up late and write, read, analyze, design and create. At night its quiet, and I know I’m not getting any interruptions until the baby is hungry again. I’ve completely given up any hopes of much sleep. I already don’t get much with a 10 week old baby. There have been a few nights I’m totally focused, and I don’t even realize its past 1 am. That’s just the time and place I like to work and be creative. Sometimes I suffer the next day, and I feel lethargic, but I honestly am usually so happy about what I accomplished and got done, that the fatigue doesn’t bother me much. This suits my personality, but for others, sleep is a non-negotiable. It depends on your personality type. I’ve always been happy to give up sleep for things I want to do or fun I want to have.
- Friendships: Its funny, as a mom I am really anti-social. I spend so much of my day socializing with toddlers and chatting with them, I LOVE the quiet time to myself. You won’t find me chatting with a friend during nap time because I have work to do. You won’t find me out for a girls night because I’d rather get caught up on the weekend before I head into the busy week. Its just a phase I am in now with little kids and goals I want to achieve. I know I will be social again, but for now, I just don’t have the time and energy go really be a good friend.
Those are the main, four things I’ve given up to pursue the goals I’ve set for myself as a mompreneur. I still haven’t had to give up much time at all with my children. There are times I am on my phone when I am with them, but I would rather be on my phone for 5 minutes at a time, than have to leave them all together. Its just my personal choice, but I have no judgments for moms that chose to have their children cared for while they tackle all their work. Its just a matter of what is best for you and your children.
Tips to get yourself to achieve more, when the kids and mom life is chaotic:
I’ll continue to share my tips as I have them and figure them out. The one thing that really helps me is nap time. I have about 1.5 hours or so to get stuff done! Its amazing what you can get done in over an hour. I prepare myself for this time with a running list of things I want to accomplish in that time, just for today. I do my best to focus on those things, and I am ready to go as soon as I sit down. That way, there’s no down time and thinking, “okay, what do I do first?”
What if your children don’t nap anymore? Two words: Quiet Time. This is a designated period in the day, where your toddler is confined to their room or bed with one toy, or a couple books. They are responsible for laying quietly and entertaining themselves for however long you say. It helps them calm down, learn to entertain themselves in a “down time,” and allows them a space to process everything they are learning. Its good for you both! If you haven’t done a quiet time yet, it will be really uncomfortable for your child, so start small. Slowly build them up to longer periods of time. This will help you grasp some time in the day to plan what you want to get done, get one thing done, or just sit and think. Its really important that you have an opportunity to think somewhere, because it will allow you to consciously create thoughts and goals that you’re ready to achieve and work towards when you get an opportunity!
Don’t be afraid to let go of something to achieve your goals. If you aren’t sure what to let go, ask your partner and family. “What do you think I can let go of to get more done?” You might be surprised at what they come up with that will help you.