When You Want to Do It All … But Feel Like You Just Can’t Manage It

When you want to do it all, it can be frustrating (and exhausting!) to discover there’s just not enough time in the day for all of your responsibilities.

I remember exactly what I wanted to be when I was a little girl.

A wife.

A mom.

A writer.

A homemaker.

A teacher.

A baker.

A detective.

And I remember feeling really frustrated, thinking that I’d have to choose just one profession when I grew up. I didn’t see many bakers who wrote books. And I didn’t know any teachers who would moonlight as a detective.

What I never EVER expected was that I would actually have all of those roles as an adult.

Because, as a wife and mom, I’m also a homemaker. I’m a writer. I homeschool my kids. I bake – and cook – for my family every day. And I get to practice my detective work as I figure out what my kids or our dog have been up to when they’re so mysteriously quiet.

I also never expected that in having all of those jobs, I’d wind up exhausted. Never would I imagine that by trying to juggle all of those roles, I’d feel like I wasn’t doing any single one exceptionally well.

The exhausting, never-ending cycle of doing

I’m pretty confident I’m not the only woman exhausted by all the roles I wind up playing.

Just when you feel like you’re rocking how you care for your kids so well – for one whole day! – you look around and see your home is a wreck. Or when you feel on top of your meal planning, preparation, and clean up, you notice you’re slacking with spending quality time with your husband.

It’s a never-ending cycle. And it’s maddening.

Even though no one can do it all – and no one is expected to do it all – it would be so nice to find a way to balance it all much better.

Here’s the thing: If we, as women, could just stop to remind ourselves that we have so much on our plates, we might find a little comfort.

The next time you’re ready to beat yourself up because you’re exhausted at the frantic pace of life or barely manage to finish basic chores around your home, give yourself a little grace. Celebrate the victories you see every day, even if they’re small. Remember the good that you’re doing, and then push yourself to do just a little more.

Enjoy the daily journey, not just the destination

Lately I’ve been reminding myself that life is all about the journey – not the destination. So while I’m looking ahead to the completion of tasks or responsibilities (like the end of a school year or finishing a home project), the most important things are found in the everyday.

If I could learn to slow down and appreciate what I’m going through right now – even if it’s harried, and even if I seem to only focus on what isn’t going so smoothly – I have a feeling I’d find a lot of peace.

In the same way, before you focus on any failures, think about what you’re doing well. And celebrate right now. Because right now, even if things are uncomfortable, you’re learning a lot – even if you don’t realize it.

Then give yourself some credit for all of the roles you are trying to balance.

When I was young and thought I had to choose one profession and kiss the rest goodbye, it was because everything I wanted to do was a big undertaking. And I knew it.

It’s not easy to be a wife. Or a mom. Or excel at a profession. Or care for your home and figure out cleaning routines and think about food and every other detail we concern ourselves with.

By reminding yourself of all the roles you do have and the sheer amount of thought and energy that goes into each of them, you should find a great reason to go easier on yourself.

Do what you can do

The other important truth to remind yourself right now is that you can only do what you can do.

You’ll probably rarely get every single thing accomplished on your daily to-do list. It’s OK! Simply do what you can do in a day.

Some days surprises will pop up and you’ll accomplish far less than you wanted. But maybe in those unexpected days, you’re able to invest deeply into people’s lives. And that, my friend, is huge.

Remember you don’t have to multitask it all. Do one thing at a time, and try to do it well. What gets done gets done. And what doesn’t? Well, you can save it for another day.

Searching for the big picture

Now, when my young daughter tells me she wants to grow up to become an orphanage keeper and a dermatologist and an artist and the first woman to land on Mars, I smile to myself. I remember having my own wishes, and I know how quickly the time flew until I was achieving those dreams.

While my daughter’s professional dreams seem a lot more ambitious than my own were, I’m excited to see how she ends up figuring out a way to balance all of those roles … someday. Because somehow, even when we feel bogged down by chasing a bunch of different dreams and juggling countless roles, we get a lot done.

And someday, when we’ll look back on this current season of our lives, we’ll realize we ended up accomplishing more than we ever realized.

When you want to do it all, how do you deal with the stress? What helps you juggle the hectic busyness of life?


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All images courtesy of Unsplash.

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One Comment

  1. Wonderful post, exactly where I am right now. At 62 I still want to do it all. Only now I have less energy 😧. God bless my friend ❤️

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