Spring Clean Your To-Do List!

spring cleaning

SuperMomThe other day I saw the following quote by Von Clausewitz:

“He who defends all borders defends none.”

While these words are clearly meant to describe a strategy for battle, I found them to be eerily applicable to parenting.

Parenting? A battle?

Many of you are likely nodding in agreement as you struggle with your toddler or teen on what seems like everything. Let me share what I was thinking when this interesting analogy hit me the other day.

The premise of these words is basically saying that when you attempt to defend everything, you defend nothing. Parenting translation…when you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing. See where I’m going?

Moms today try to do everything and try to be everything to everyone and what ends up happening is they end up being nothing to no body. I spoke of this in my SuperMom Syndrome webinar and in fact, this is one of my Save Mom’s Sanity Tips.

spring cleaning

To quote Oprah, “This is what I know for sure.” When you try to do everything –  try to be the perfect mother, wife, daughter, employee, business owner, Girl Scout Leader, you name it, your attention and efforts are scattered in so many different places that you can’t possibly do any one of these endeavors well. Something’s gotta give.

Interestingly, in speaking with some of my mompreneur friends, they are also beginning to recognize that something’s gotta give in that they too are realizing that they have cast their nets too wide. Their business cards have so many titles, they need to use the back of the card just to fit their contact information.

Not surprisingly, they are realizing that being a ‘Jill of all trades’ dilutes their services and confuses their customers. Many are beginning to scale back and let go of some of their offerings and pursue only those they truly love. In short, they are getting focused and are learning that trying to be all things to their customers is not growing their bottom lines.

The same thing applies to parenting. Even if you are a master multi-tasker and are able to juggle many balls, I guarantee you that if you really looked at all of the activities you are doing, that one or two are falling short. My money is that the activity that’s falling completely off your to-do list is your ‘me-time’. I’ll bet that you are so busy doing for others that you have no time to do for yourself. As a result, you and your children/family are paying a hefty price.

What is that price? A mother who is exhausted, stressed, sad, and lonely. Is this the example you want to give to your children? Do you want them to see that parenting is about running yourself into the ground and never taking time to care for your own needs? Keep this up and you can forget about grandkids!

Many moms think it’s selfish to take time for themselves. Remember, others treat us the way we treat ourselves. So if you neglect your basic needs, never feed your spirit, ignore your right to be happy, then don’t be surprised when other people take advantage of you or treat you poorly. And this includes your kids. Think about that.

YOU showed them how to treat you.

You showed them that your needs don’t matter every time you gave up a girl’s night out to bake cupcakes for the class party. You showed them that your health isn’t important when you cancelled your gym membership because you had no time to go. You showed them that your hobbies and passions don’t matter when you gave them up so you could be the class mom.

Again I say, is this the example you want to show your kids?

In my recent Parenting for Purpose newsletter, I encouraged my readers to clean out their schedules instead of cleaning out their closets. I want to suggest the same thing for you.

Go through every activity you and your family do and remove those that don’t make a real difference in your lives. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Eliminate those obligations you took on out of guilt.
  • Where possible, delegate chores and errands.
  • Automate anything that can be automated like going to the bank to deposit checks or ordering groceries online.

Be RUTHLESS! Remember, it’s your sanity you’re trying to save!

When you are finished, the only activities that should be on your calendar are ones that bring joy to your and your family’s lives. As those meaningless time-wasters fall away, you’ll find yourself feeling lighter, more energetic, and happy because you are not weighted down with the stress of doing too much.

Define the most important borders in your life and cast away those that are not needed. I guarantee that your parenting journey will become easier and more fulfilling because you’ll be defending the border that means the most to you – your family.

Jen’s Gem: Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024