No Means NO!
A hard ass lesson I’ve learned since becoming a mom is that I cannot yet operate at the level I did before I was a mom. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that I will never operate at the highest of the high levels from my previous life- I AIN’T GIVING UP! But right now, I don’t have the f*cking energy to do it all and I am temporarily unwilling to try. Because of that, I have perfected the art of saying no. My favorite ways of saying “NO” are: Nope, Hell to the naw naw, and F*ck no. In other words…I cain’t and I ain’t!
I came to this jarring realization after failing multiple times as the manager of #teamtoomuch. For example, I am first of all fabulous ME. (Because if momma ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy.) Then I am a wife/sex kitten, mom, sister, friend, sorority sister, business owner, financial coach, leader at my church, socialite, and so on and so on.
PAUSE: Yes, I go to church. Don’t judge me. God knows my heart!
The point I am trying to make is that wearing all of those hats was too much to handle and I was getting less and less done. My shady ass pride was causing me to try and live up to these unrealistic expectations. (I like being active and I pride myself on getting things done. Ya heard me! I’m bossy! *cue Kelis*)
But in trying to do ALL those things I was neglecting myself AND my husband and my son. Those two are my highest priority and I can’t let them down.
As a result, I decided the following had to be done to right the ship. Oh and this is for you too, Boo!
Be honest about the time you have available.
There are only 24 hours in a day. I need to sleep for at least 7 hours, work 8-10 hours and so that leaves 7 hours. There’s no way in hell I can fit everything else in seven hours. Right? So don’t even try to do that. Know what you can realistically accomplish in a day and be OK with it. Work hard to make the most of the time you do have.
Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!
Every single day I have to negotiate my time because again I cannot do it all. I have to decide what are the most important things that need to get done and commit to doing those. That means that the house could be a little messy, i.e. my suitcase is still partially unpacked from last week’s vacation and there’s a basket full of clean laundry waiting to be folded. But…so what? I said, “NO” to those things so I can snuggle with my baby and hubby after working late on a project. And we got to eat dinner together too! *swoon* Laundry will be there tomorrow. It’s ok! Don’t tell my Momma though, she would have a fit!
Block out time for you.
There is not much that gets in the way of my hair or wax appointments and my make up. (I love a matte lip and a good brow! Highlighter too! I do not play, hunty!) No, I am not vain…ok maybe a little. Honestly, I feel better about myself when I look good. This requires that I plan my time so that I can get those things done. I grew up seeing my mom smelling good, well groomed, and well dressed so it’s important to me to do the same. REAL TALK: I feel like my old self when I take good care of me. This makes me more pleasant to deal with and it lessens any resentment I may feel about the things I had to give up as a mom and wife.
Take a break.
Right now I am taking a break from volunteering. Ooh…it hurts to even type that but it’s true. I recently had to step down from a leadership role because I just could not commit the time. My priorities right now are my family and building my business. That’s it. Ya girl is trying to stay married! OK?! See my other post making marriage work. In what areas of your life do you need to take a break? Get a cup of teach or vodka and really think about it.
Don’t worry about what others will say.
If someone outside of your home doesn’t understand why you are pressed for time, f*ck them. I mean it! F*CK THEM! My son will be two years old next month and this is precious time that I cannot get back. I don’t want to miss this- and so I won’t. Your real friends will understand and will work around it. Side note: Sometimes it’s hard for me to plan too far in advance for social events so I am very upfront about that. I realized that spur of the moment works great too. And what do you know? My family and friends are ok with that too.
Alexandria M. Cummings is a wife, mom, and financial coach. You can find her on Twitter spreading the gospel of smart spending and saving. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.
Also published by Alexandria: My Tits My Terms! Why I’m Still Nursing A Toddler