I Can’t Be Everything to Everyone (It’s Okay To Say ‘No’)

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everything-to-everyone

On any given day, my calendar is scheduled right down to the minute. A typical day goes like this: Set my alarm to wake up early to get things done, but instead, I sleep in. Jump out of bed frantic and try to get ready for work while caring for a toddler. Spend 30 minutes (on a good day) doing drop-off and saying goodbye 16 times (so she doesn’t cry).

Now the official “work day” starts, filled with meetings, showings and appointments, leaving me feeling pretty accomplished. At 11:30 a.m., I realize that if I can squeeze in a workout at noon, that will give me enough time to get home, shower (a.k.a. rinse off and apply dry shampoo), return phone calls and emails and then pick up my daughter in time for dance at 4 p.m. Every day is jam-packed, and I feel as if I am being pulled in 30 14718870_10210651785671562_8242817425546787932_ndifferent directions at any given time.

My husband tells me I do this to myself; I overcommit on SO many levels. A friend even once gave me a magnet that said, “Stop me before I volunteer again.” That should be my life motto.

We live in a culture where as a woman, especially as mothers, we are expected to be so many things to so many people. My pastor recently gave a sermon and mentioned that women are judged in three distinct areas: their looks, their success and what they do for others. I couldn’t agree with that more. Every day I struggle with a million different thoughts flowing through my brain: “Did I submit that document for work?” “Does Charlotte have diapers at school?” “Did Kyle remember to take his lunch or is he going to eat Subway for the third time this week?” “Did I eat breakfast?” “When can I get my workout in?” “Did I pee in the last five hours?” If I’m not spiraling out of control on any given day, then something must be wrong, right? Free time makes me feel anxious, as if I forgot to do something.

I’ve never hit a breaking point per se, but every now and then I take a moment to sit down and readjust my priorities. This is SO important. Taking this time to cleanse your life of things that aren’t important (or just not as important) is so necessary. I have a really hard time saying “NO,” but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. It’s tough to accept that you can’t be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE, but honestly, that’s just the cold, hard truth.

Like many of you, I am a wife, mother, employee, friend, daughter and the list goes on and on. But I know I cannot be good at any of those titles if I don’t set my priorities straight. When overworked, overextended and overcommitted, I fail miserably. I’m not a good person. I am short and irritable. I have zero patience. I am not the mother, wife or person I want to be.

I pray one day I will accept that “busy isn’t always better.” But for now, I’ll accept that I can’t be everything to everyone, and I’m slowly getting better at learning to use the word “NO.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Boy did this post speak to me! For the longest time, I was trying to find the magic formula to work-life balance. I gave up on that and did embrace the chaos, but still knew I needed to make changes. I am 100 percent guilty of taking on more than I should (not can) chew. Thanks for the reminder!

    I recently started my own blog and would love for you to check it out. I wanted to share my journey with other moms and share recipes because I have two kiddos with dietary restrictions and nutritional deficiencies.

  2. It is such an important and life-changing realization to conclude you can’t be everything to everyone. As simple as it sounds, it is harder to live. And doing this makes a difference in the quality of your life and your family life.

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