You Don't Have To Do It All, again

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Hey Friends - I took my kids to the dentist yesterday - and found out that my oldest has a tooth in serious decay, bad enough that we need to see a pediatric dentist and have it taken care of. When the dentist called me over to show it to me, I was shocked. And then that mama guilt came flooding over me. Oh man, was it intense. I started crying, and every time I think about it I have to fight back tears.

What really gets me isn’t so much her actual tooth - don’t get me wrong, I feel horrible and we are taking steps to change her brushing habits and getting the tooth fixed. But what really hits me like a ton of bricks is how I feel like everything at home has been slipping through the cracks lately. It’s a horrible feeling, when you realize that you aren’t doing a good enough job. Her tooth is just the final straw in a couple of things that have been happening with my girls, but it’s the thing that really drove it home for me: I am failing at trying to do it all.

That isn’t news to me - I’ve written on my blog plenty of times about how I feel like I can’t do it all, and how I don’t think we should feel like we have to even try. But I’ve forgotten that lesson for myself. And I bet there are a couple of you out there who could use that gentle reminder as well.

You can’t do it all. And that is completely, 100% okay.

My daughter's tooth was that reminder that I needed to circle the wagons and really concentrate on what matters the most. My kids, of course - my husband, and the truly important things in my business.

My first instinct was that I couldn’t work as much anymore. That I needed to cut back my hours, and once again try to do more with less. But that isn’t fair to me, and it isn’t fair to my family who needs my income. Working has never been a hobby for me. My business provides half of our needed family funds, and I am very proud of that. It’s part of who I am, and working less is not going to make me any happier. And it’s not going to make my kids any happier (or healthier).

But what I do need to do is get back to the basics. Cut out the fluff, even if it’s fluff I enjoy, and really come home to what matters. Serving my clients. Doing the work. But doing that service and work in a way that allows me to be a more present mother without sacrificing what I give my clients.

So, what does that look like for me?

  1.  I’ll be stepping away from a few personal projects and online groups that have become more of an obligation than they should. As much as I love community, too much of anything isn’t good, and I’ve always been someone who does better one on one than in a large group. That said, you can always find me right here, in CoLAB, and in the Illuminate community.
  2.  I’ll be spending less time marketing my business on Facebook or Instagram, and instead spending that time investing in content here, on my blog and on a few other choice website platforms, so that I can offer more value to those who take the time to read my words. I’m tired of contributing to the noise, I'm over the fighting for attention that social media seems to demand, and I simply want to get back to offering value and a quiet respite to those who visit me here.
  3.  I’m pairing down what I offer and retiring a few online workshops in favor of the one I’m most passionate about.
  4.  I’m simplifying my business finances so that they run more on auto-pilot. I keep a budget, but it hasn’t been as strict as I’d like it to be. And while it’s not necessarily about the numbers themselves, it is about reminding myself that simplicity is best. I’ve cut out a few subscriptions that I don’t find value in, and reduced a few things that I just don’t need as much of.
  5.  I’m committing to run a 10k with some girlfriends in January. I know that while training for it will take more time away from other things, I think the focus, stress-relief, and happiness I find will be worth it’s weight in gold.

Your situation, your business, and your family is likely different - but don’t be afraid to say no, to find a different way to make things work, and to do the things that matter to you. There is so much advice out there about what you “have” to have in order to run a successful business - and most of it is just noise and stress disguised as help. You know your situation better than anyone else. Cut out the things that aren’t working, and do the things that you care most about.

It’s not easy. But I want you to know I’m right there in it with you. I understand your struggles, and you aren’t alone. Sometimes that’s really all we need to hear - that we aren’t alone. But if you want to take a bigger step towards taking control of your business, come up with your own list of 3-5 actionable things you can do to simplify things. You got this!

Kate DensmoreComment