Whenever I hear the words, “You are so busy…how do you do it all?” my first thought automatically goes to the irony of how I always feel like I am not doing enough (thank you, mommy guilt). This is then immediately followed by feeling the need to go through the lineup of players that make my day to day life possible. Because I am merely the façade for a team of individuals who make it possible for me to work, be present at home, raise my girls, maintain personal interests, and pursue passions and opportunities for myself and my family. These players, my “tribe” so to speak, are my safety line, my support net, my sounding board, and sometimes the savers of the last of my sanity. You see, I don’t do it all. Well, not alone anyway. Without the village that surrounds me, I would bet I would be close to non-functioning let alone effectively operating the machine that is the everyday life of a mom.
Some of this support system was like a gift with purchase when my firstborn came along – my husband, for example, my partner in this journey to outwit, outlast, and outplay the beautiful humans that now run our house. But other members of this tribe have come over time and not always in the places you would expect– coworkers, parents of my daughter’s classmates, friends from our gym, moms I have never met but whose words on social media inspire me to keep trying my best every day. Some members are a core part to the team – selfless grandparents, our wonderful nanny…the ride or die players who are always at the top of my acceptance speech thank yous (you know…the speech you have stored away for when you need it some day? No…just me? Continuing on then…) Other members rotate in as my girls develop and change. All important, all significant, all appreciated for how they have helped me grow as a mother.
Pending the organic evolution of your tribe, you may have to cultivate growth as well. And this usually comes in the form of asking for and/or accepting help…yes, help.
Giving up control and depending on someone else to do what you could do, but might be better off not doing. Why we as moms view help as a sign of inadequacy or weakness is just crazy! And I am guilty of it as much as the next mom. It is hard to accept help from people inside our circles of trust, even harder from those on the perimeter. But when you open your arms and embrace that support, your tribe grows. That mom that offers to bring your older child to a birthday party for you so you don’t have to drag your napping younger children out of bed? YES! Thank you! Welcome to my club! Grandparents who offer to take the kids overnight so you can get some sleep? Ok! I’ll take that! And the beauty of the tribe is the reciprocating nature of the group. When you have the time or ability to help another person out, you get to show your thanks by paying it forward! Boom. Your life is enriched as is the life of that person.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to “do it all”. As a mom, I don’t know that we ever get away from the feeling of trying to be everywhere, everyone, everything. But you don’t have to do it alone – embrace the support of those around you, build your tribe.
And to my personal mama tribe – thank you! You likely made this post possible. XOXO