I can’t ‘have it all’ in this season of motherhood—and that’s okay

I’ve learned to shift my priorities and follow my heart.

I can’t ‘have it all’ in this season of motherhood—and that’s okay

I have learned a critical lesson over the last few years as a mother and wife and employee. A lesson that my heart needed in a big way.

So here it is: I don’t think I can “have it all.”

I finally, finally understand that it’s okay not to be great at everything. I’ve had to learn how to let go of the idea of being a ‘perfect mom’ many times. What I feel like I do have to be great at is dedicating my time and energy to the things that bring me joy. To shift my priorities and follow my heart.

I need to do what makes me happy. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year trying to figure out the answers to these questions: What’s my passion? What brings me joy?

At first, I worried—does this make me selfish? Am I a selfish mother for thinking of what I want to do and spend my time on?

The simple answer: No. We aren’t selfish for considering our needs. I mean, how are we supposed to be our best selves if we never think about what we really want out of life? If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will.

I have exhausted myself attempting to be the best wife, mom to two little boys, employee, daughter, sister, friend, housekeeper and volunteer I could be. My head was constantly spinning. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of mediocrity. I was doing it all, but I didn’t even have the time to be excited about any of it. I was too busy stressing about the next task at hand.

And let’s be honest—why do anything if it stresses you out?

I’m not talking about the necessities, like paying bills and cleaning up after your toddler painted on the wall. I’m talking about the things you personally have control over.

So I’m putting it all out there right now because that has kind of become my thing lately.

Right now, I cannot be the best mom because I am constantly distracted.

I have a 3-year-old that could launch himself off of a bookcase while I’m feeding my 6-month-old. I can't give both children my undivided attention at all times. It is physically impossible. And I work full-time. I can't pick Henry up from preschool in the middle of the day. I can't spend the mornings snuggling with my baby on the couch. And it hurts my heart that I can't do that.

I may not be the best mom, but I can be a good enough mom.

Right now, I cannot be the best wife because I work full-time and have two little boys to take care of. Sometimes, my husband and I are like ships passing in the night. We divide and conquer with the kids and the household chores. I would love to spend a weekend in bed with my husband, but that’s just not an option at the moment. He knows that I love and respect him and that will have to suffice for now.

I may not be the best wife, but I can be a good enough wife.

Right now, I can't be the best employee because my passions have changed from the time I started my job. I love my job and am incredibly grateful for it, but it is not my passion. I can’t bring myself to be passionate about scheduling and reading pitch decks and attending day-long meetings. I do my job, and I do it well, but I don’t fall asleep at night thinking about how I can improve processes in the office.

I might not be the best employee, but I can be a good enough employee.

Right now, I can’t be the best writer I want to be. Writing has become one of my passions, but I have children, and a husband and a full-time job and writing takes a back seat to those things.

I can’t be the best writer, but I can be a good enough writer.

Right now, I can’t be the best daughter and sister and friend. Because of all the above. I wish so much I could be. But at this season in my life, it just isn’t possible.

Right now, I can’t be the best housekeeper. I have two tiny hurricanes and a 75-pound dog living with me and my husband. If I attempted to keep my house spotless, it wouldn’t work out so well. (For me, or for the house.) So I have let that go. I hired someone to clean my house every other week, and it lifted a big weight off my shoulders.

Lately, I have learned that I have to realign my priorities and figure out what is most important to me. What brings me the most joy in life?

And so, I do that, and I let everything else go. I will be a good enough mom and a good enough wife and a good enough employee and a good enough writer, and I will stop stressing myself out over the rest.

Because I can't be or do every. single. thing. But I do want to be everything I love.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

Keep reading Show less
Our Partners

These kids dishes don’t look like kids dishes

And that's exactly why my toddler loves them. ❤️

My 4.5-year-old is, let's say, spirited in his opinions. He very clearly knows what he wants and doesn't want (oh to have the confidence of a stubborn preschooler!). And what he doesn't want right now is anything that looks too babyish. "That's for babies," he'll say if I give him anything with primary colors or looks too miniature. He doesn't want the baby fork and spoon, he wants what grown-ups use. He doesn't want the baby plastic cups and plates, he wants the glass and ceramic ones.

Well, you can see where this is going.

I had to find something that would satisfy his "not a baby" opinions but still not shatter to pieces if he accidentally drops it on the floor. I had to find him something that's made for kids but doesn't feel made for kids.

Keep reading Show less

10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less