The Real Reason Moms Are Never on Time — and How We Can Fix ThatJeannette Kaplun
Ever since I became a mom, it’s gotten harder and harder to make it anywhere on time. I’m constantly running late even if I’m rushing from one place to another. Or I’m stressed out because I fear I’m going to be late. It doesn’t matter that as a Latina in many countries being five minutes late is not frowned upon. It really irritates me to not be on time, whether it’s for a school meeting, a sports tournament or a business meeting.
Looking at what I have been doing these past days I’ve realized a very simple solution. On the days that I feel the most stressed out, or that I feel that I’m going to be late, I realized that I wrongly assumed that I can do more things than are humanly possible. In other words, the superwoman complex that many working moms seem to have, is currently affecting whether I’m on time or running chronically late. We believe we can do it all and pretend that time constraints don’t apply to us. Plus, we’re used to making the most out of every second of our lives since our time is so precious.
So what’s the solution that I’m talking about? Of course it’s obvious, but we sometimes forget to notice the most basic things. You have to realize that you can’t do everything that you think you can do. It doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s most efficient planner or time manager. Being a working mom means that the road is full of unexpected events. You simply cannot plan for everything. Control is only an illusion. We believe that by planning our days we can control everything that’s happening around us, but reality proves us wrong over and over again. It chooses to do whatever it wants to do with our day. Just remember all those calls from school when your child isn’t feeling well, or traffic jams at unexpected times when you thought your day was going according to your plans.
The next time that you’re running from one place to another, stressed out, afraid that you’re going to be late yet again to an important meeting, pause for a moment and realize that you might be overextending yourself. Choose to have a shorter to-do list for every single day. Focus on doing less but on doing those things better. That means choosing quality over quantity. And if you’re still not convinced, ask yourself if you really enjoy feeling stressed out.
Chances are that by accepting you have to do less, you won’t only be more on time, but you’ll also be less frazzled. That in itself is a beautiful thing.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
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