Stick to 4 Things: Don’t Try To Do It All

Whoever said that “moms can do it all” was probably a man. That man most likely never cooked, cleaned, or took care of any kids himself. This nameless man that I’ve villainized in my head was a liar. You should not have to do all the things.

I’ve realized that I have a limit on the number of things that I can do well at one time. It’s four on a good day. On a bad day, it’s zero because I am in survival mode until bedtime. But here is a non-exhaustive list of things that I decided are “my half” of the responsibilities for my household:

  • Work a full time job for income and great insurance.
  • Take care of two toddlers (3 1/2 and almost 2) full time.
  • Keep my house tidy and clean.
  • Cooking three meals a day for my kids, my husband, and myself.
  • Make shopping lists and go to the store.
  • Run any various other errands.
  • Washing all the dishes and putting away.
  • Washing, drying, and folding and putting away all of the laundry.
  • Make all doctors appointments for myself and the kids (Doug is responsible for himself) and getting us there.
  • Walking the dogs and taking them to vet appointments.
  • Decorating the house for holidays.
  • Getting the mail.
  • Did I mention cleaning? Because that one seems never ending.
  • Keeping a social calendar.
  • Planning birthday parties.
  • Schedule half of our date nights.
  • Making the home decor decisions (getting a letterboard was the best and worst purchase).
  • And more cleaning.

Side note to avoid some sort of fight later: I am not saying my husband doesn’t do an amazing job of supporting me or our family, he is GREAT. He can make or fix just about anything and is very financially literate. I would have married him just for those two qualities.

Do you remember how many things I said I could realistically do well? Four on a good day. How many things are on that list? You can check me on this, but I think it’s more than four. And this doesn’t include my “hobbies”: working out, blogging, scrolling on Instagram, reading, and pretending to be interested in whatever is happening in cryptocurrency today (love you babe!). So…like what the f*ck was I thinking? Who can actually do all of this crap everyday without losing their mind?

Two months ago, February 5th, one of our dogs had surgery to fix a torn ACL. The first four weeks were like having a newborn all over again. We had an around the clock medication schedule, constant puppy-like crying and whining, sleep deprivation, and constant updates on his bowel movements. It was all worth it because now he can run, jump, and move just as well as he did before the injury, but holy moley was that one of the longest months (but coincidentally the shortest month of the year) of my life. I had one pinky finger on the other side of the fence as to whether or not to have another baby, but this experience had me snatch that finger back faster than my husband would say “but babe!” (iykyk). I do not do well with sleep deprivation. To add a little insult to injury, for the month of February we didn’t drink any alcohol and my husband challenged me to only drink a single cup of coffee a day. It was very poor timing. A tired Cindi is not a nice person and has no patience. I also felt that unwelcome b*tch, Depression, trying to snake her nasty little tendrils into my thoughts. I had to constantly remind myself that this was just a very short season of our lives and we would get through it.

I had to pivot my approach to managing our family. Taking care of Gunner was a priority. What were the two other non-negotiables every day? Monday through Friday it’s work and kids. Then I chose ONE other thing from the list, including hobbies. Most days that was dinner. The weekends were a little more flexible, where I was able to do the bare minimum of errands and make sure we had clean undies, but that was it. Nothing got cleaned. Laundry didn’t get done. The dogs didn’t go for walks. I barely worked out and gained some inches. But guess what? Here we are with a dirty house and so much laundry that I don’t even want to think about (our washer broke and we are currently waiting for delivery next week), I haven’t posted anything in two months, I desperately need a massage, but nothing caught on fire when I stopped trying to do it all.

Now that Gunner is given the all clear for normal activity, I have the capacity to pursue other things. First up was getting to share my two month experiment findings with all of you. I have missed having a creative outlet and the joy it brings me to do something for myself. Next up is trying to jump on @gocleanco‘s Spring Cleaning Challenge to try and get my house in order because she’s kind of gross right now, but that will be one room at a time. If you need to find me this week, I will be scrubbing every surface of our bathrooms.

I hope that whatever season of life you are in right now, you give yourself a break and realize that a jack of all trades is a master of none. Prioritize what has to be done and let go of the guilt. And now that I’ve got “Let It Go” stuck in my head…I hope my ramblings have brought you a little more joy today. Now go outside and soak up some sunshine!

Follow me on Instagram @joyandotherthingsblog!

7 responses to “Stick to 4 Things: Don’t Try To Do It All”

  1. I love this so much. I should make a list of all the things I’m responsible for + hobbies and then choose four (for good days, like you said) because I think that could REALLY help me let go of some guilt! Thanks for sharing.


    1. I’m so glad you found this helpful Valerie! I am still working on the guilt, but I know that if I accomplished four things then it was a good day. If I made it to bedtime it was a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my your life is like a tornado (from the outside looking in), in a humbling and admiring kind of way (no judgment at all)! I only have the one toddler and seriously don’t know how anyone with more than that survives life so you’re my absolute hero! Lol yes, I agree, let go of the guilt! This is going to sound terrible but everytime I feel any inkling of guilt I think how minimal conscious-mothering my mom did and it makes me feel a bit better that I turned out (still hoping) more than fine lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I absolutely started doing the same thing about my mom. One is so hard too! My two play with each other most of the day with minimal input from me (usually I play arbiter).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh man, this is my exact situation currently! Well, 1 less child, but doggy ACL surgery definitely makes for an extra special few months doesn’t it? Oy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are finally on the other side of it! But it’s some of the hardest months. Our dog destroyed three beds? Was yours as destructive?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kedwilliams22 Avatar

        No thank goodness. But he looks at me every day like I’m the worst mom ever because he can’t go outside to play

        Liked by 1 person

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