Have you ever noticed that some days as a mom everything feels urgent?
Consider this ordinary day:
The laundry is overflowing and everyone needs clothes.
The house is a mess.
Your kid is having a tough day and throwing tantrums.
Your best friend is asking you to watch her kids for the day, because she’s sick.You have a $10 off coupon at Target that expires today.
Before reading *Essentialism, I would have looked at the day (described above) and started from the top OR done whichever one seemed most urgent in the moment.
Here’s How My Day Would Have Played Out:
I would have said yes to my friend and had her bring her kids to my house,even though I was frazzled.
I would have gotten out ALL the laundry and yelled at my kid and my friend’s kids for not helping.
I would have dragged myself, my kid and the extra kids to Target– for a grumpy shopping trip and saved $10.
I would have been angry for myself for not getting the house clean and would have left the laundry half-done.
And the moment bedtime struck, I would have collapsed on the floor.
In this scenario (which is pretty close to my real life some days), very few things got done well– and guess what got dropped?
Myself and my kid.
Since I’ve started practicing *Essentialism, I’ve learned that just because things feel urgent, doesn’t mean they need to be done first. I now can imagine a better way to do that same day a little differently– never forgetting my “highest contribution.”
Here’s How that Same Day Could Have Gone Way Better:
Knowing I already have too much on my plate, I’d choose to say no to my friend– even though I’d really like to help.
I’d weigh the cost/benefit of the $10 savings at Target and realize that it’s not worth it– at least not today.
I’d consider the question: Given the fact that my kid’s having a particularly hard day– how much cleaning is realistic and when is the best time during the day to do it?
I’d ask myself: Do I really need laundry today? If the answer is yes, I’d ask myself: How many loads do I actually have time for? Which clothes does my family need in the next few days? And I’d do only those loads.
This would free up time to focus on my kid– who needs a little extra loving today.
Do you see how the very same day got radically better?
In the first scenario, I assumed I could do it all– and failed at almost everything.
In the second, I knew my limits and chose those things closest to my “highest contribution”– given the events of the day.
This is seriously life-changing, mama!
This is hard to do, but like anything in life, it gets a little easier with practice. There are days when I live more like this and have reaped the rewards. There are also days when I sink back to my old ways and end up frazzled on the floor.
But the difference is– I now know there’s a better way.
I know that if I pursue the right things in the right way— I can live a better version of my daily life as a mom.
And You Can Too.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Does this feel overwhelming? Or does it make you feel hopeful?
Next up: I will be sharing 20 practical changes I’ve made in my own life since Reading *Essentialism.
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