You Don’t Have to Do Everything; Do What You Can

Updated: 6 days ago

Working moms are getting more things done faster than ever, which is exactly why we need more self-care.

Woman sitting on ledge near window looking at laptop and phone
Who told us we need to do it all, have it all, be it all?

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." — Theodore Roosevelt


This is one of my favorite quotes. And it most certainly rings true for me as a working mom.


As I write this, it is the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. I realize that there are many moms who are pregnant or who gave birth for the first time during these last 9 months. There are also many moms who are working at home, overseeing remote learning schedules and in the thick of managing many of the other daily details of life.


Today’s moms are being asked to do more than ever. The growing mountain of to-dos we have collected is exhausting. Checked one thing off? Here are three more.


What can help disrupt this overwhelming cycle of too much to do, especially when so many people depend on us?


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Moms are often given the superhuman label because of the volume of things we do, but is it because that’s what others expect of us? And do we fuel this expectation by doing more? Is it because we have our own high standards and demands of ourselves?


Enough.


We are enough.


What you’re doing is enough, who you were in the past is enough, who you are in this moment is enough and who you’re becoming is enough.


We are human. We need rest, sleep and nourishment. We need self-care. We don’t need to “earn” self-care or to let others give us permission to care for ourselves. Our well-being depends on our own awareness that we matter, too. And if we don’t give ourselves what we need, then who will?


Our wellness is in our own hands—the same hands that snuggle our kids, change their diapers, pack lunches, sign school forms, type emails, text friends and upload posts to social media.


So go ahead and feel accomplished by crossing one thing off your list today and saving the rest for another day. Go ahead and ask for help. Go ahead and give yourself a day off. (Does that even happen IRL?) Go ahead and give yourself permission to dream and to be inspired and to be creative.


Your self-care matters just as much as everyone else’s self-care. Stand up for your self-care, mama.


Practice It: Mantra: “Just Because I Can, Doesn’t Mean I Should”

This mantra popped into my mind recently in the middle of a busy weekday. Since then, I've had a renewed clarity that not everything I think needs to get done actually needs to get done or needs to get done right now. I am the creator of my day and I can design a more calm day.


I can choose to become aware that what I’m doing is enough. I can respond to one more email, or I can log off for the day. I can read one more article, or I can go to bed. I can take one more phone call, or I can eat my lunch.


I can take responsibility for my decisions, and that’s empowering.


Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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