Question: Hi Dr. Sally,
With so many modern conveniences today, it is still very hard to be a mom. Bringing up a baby is much more than taking care of all the physical needs like feeding, dressing, and sleep schedules. That is the easy part. It is trying to provide the proper enriched environment that is killing me. Everyone talks about education and proper social and emotional development. I am always wondering if I am reading enough books, the right books, singing enough songs, the right songs, and even playing enough games, the right games, and on and on…
Am I arranging enough playdates or having my daughter in the right kind of child care program? How about what I should do all on my own to make up for all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who are not around? What about my interests, my friends, my hobbies, and all the things that I like to do? What about my husband and my house? They all need me too. I want to take good care of everyone and everything… and somehow I feel like I just can’t keep up. Where do I begin?
Answer: Dear Friend,
Just by asking this big major question, you have started to get your answer.
Right now is the perfect time to get a handle on what’s going on in your life. Go to your favorite stationery, office supply, or bookstore and get yourself one or more 2015 calendars, planners, wall charts or other kinds of daily organizers that will help you see your own big picture. These are your tools. Find ones you like and enjoy every minute of using them. Start with events and appointments that are fixed by date. Then move on to things you do monthly, weekly, and then daily. Make it clear; make it fun; make it yours. Your life is about you and doing it your way.
You are absolutely right, it is more than overwhelming to think about doing everything that needs to be done and being everything to everyone, including yourself. However, once you start being specific about what you plan to do and how you plan to do it, the picture changes. With your new tools in hand and a focused state of mind, you can be in control.
Make sure that whatever you decide to do and however you decide to do it makes you smile. If the way it is now is out of hand, full of pressure, or just plain impossible, STOP. Empty out the pieces of your personal life’s puzzle and look at all of them carefully. These are yours. Next, go ahead and resize, re-order, or redo the them in any way you want until you start to see them in a way that they really do all fit together. Last but not least, know that life is about learning, growing, and changing. It is one big moving target. Do what you can to stay in charge, remain on top, and keep it going.
Last but not least, do what you love and love what you do. That is the secret salsa. Once you use that philosophy and that premise to sort out what comes your way, you will know exactly what to do and how and when to do it!
Meet some buddies, brainstorm, and encourage each other. Your job is not easy, and it is full of challenges. However, it is your job, a gift given to you, and you alone. Embrace it once again with a happy spirit and get ready once again to meet the toughest challenges with your absolute best efforts.
~ Dr. Sally
* Here’s what one mom shared with me as helpful advice:
“STOP waiting for the storm to pass and START to enjoy walking in the rain!”
* Here is what a TOPS group in Massachusetts listed last Tuesday as their “Thought for the Week:”
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