One of the sayings out there that I really don’t like is: ” we all have the same 24 hours in a day” – which is often in the context of “what’s your excuse for not getting it done?”…..
Here is why this rubs me the wrong way:
No, we don’t all the *same* 24 hours. My 24 hours when my 3 kids were all under 5 years of age while I had a part-time job, was not the same 24 hours that I had when I was single and childless and had no responsibility other than taking care of myself. And my 24 hours is different now that I run a business and my kids are older and more independent, but and I need to take time to nurture personal relationships with each one.
And all of you have your own commitments to what needs to happen in your 24 hours a day. No two people live in the same circumstances – and usually this is not out of just choice or lifestyle. It’s reality – and it frustrates me to hear women get the message that they are somehow being lazy by not being able to take care of *everything* all.the.time. Just SO not the case!
This is not to say that there aren’t solutions for finding a balance to the various priorities we are faced with – my job is coaching women to find sustainable solutions to their challenges – but what it does mean is that each person’s solution will be totally unique and based on the perspective of their own circumstances – judgement-free.
It’s a perfectly fine solution to decide not to judge ourselves so harshly about things like whether we could actually fit a workout in that day, BUT instead recognize how important all the other stuff that we did do, is. It is not a sign a failure to not accomplish *everything* in your 24 hours….you are not lazy if you choose to read a book with your child instead of squeezing in an hour at the gym.
I really used to struggle with all this – I just had no time in any given day to exercise the way that I wanted to or in a way that I felt I should be, because life with 3 little kids is CONSTANT. I wasted so much time being upset that I was overweight and that all my time was taken up all day, that I missed out on time that could have been spent just loving on my beautiful kids. I listened to the messages asking me what my excuse was…..and I listened to the voices telling me that I had 24 hours a day that I was probably not using “wisely enough” that was keeping me fat. I felt like I was not living up to my potential – but the problem was not really that…it was that I should have re-defined what that meant for me. All I could see was that I should have been able to be “more”, but somehow everyday these 3 kids kept me busy with diaper changes, laundry, feeding, cleaning, and playing and it wasn’t just as easy as doing “more”.
That is just one example — I know that many moms struggle with this one. It’s real and I just want all of you to know that what you do accomplish in your day – whether it’s being with your kids or working long hours to provide for them, or taking care of friends and family members, or whatever your life has brought to you – is so important and you don’t need to make excuses for that. There is always a time for everything, but it’s okay not be able to do it perfectly all at once. Be patient with yourself – love what you got, and I tell you – this will take you further than living in regret