For today’s post, I thought it might be fun to start a new series. This series is going to be a series of interviews where I will interview women who have proven day in and day out that the balance isn’t easy, yet from an outsider looking in, they make it look all to easy. We will rack their brains on their advice for women our age currently, what some of their biggest struggles are, and how they work through those struggles. Through this series, I thought what better way to create balance and provide assistance in navigating the adulting world, than getting advice from everyday women who seemed to have master it all.
For this first post, I thought what better person to start with then my mom!
Growing up, I have watched my mom do it all. She cared for me and my family so selflessly growing up and continues to do so even as we have begun our own families. She never missed an event, a meet, a show, a class and always seems to have it all organized. To this day I still believe she is super woman because of all that she has done and continues to do. She is my best friend and if I can be just a little bit like her as a mother, wife, daughter, and friend, then I will have won. So, let’s dive in!
*Below I have written out the questions I have asked her, with some background information I felt pertinent. Most of the wording is her own, unless modified for reading purposes.
- Tell us what all responsibilities you currently have on your plate – “Well, I have two businesses, four kids, four wonderful son-in-laws (she wanted to make sure I put wonderful haha), five grand babies, one adult male baby (my Dad), two homes, and a dog. I pay all of the bills for both businesses and both homes, make sure the houses are taken care of by working in the yard at our current home and keeping the houses clean and up to date. I cook all meals five-seven days a week, do all of the laundry and grocery shopping, and babysit my grandkids at some point at least once a week (sometimes it may be twice in one week or none another).
- How do you keep yourself organized and on top of it all – “You have to do something everyday around your house (she does have a housekeeper now who comes every other week, but growing up she did it all) to keep it up. I make lists for work and home, keep a calendar to keep all important dates organized, and tell my children to send reminder texts on things just to make sure I remember them. I always pay bills on the 1st and 15th for personal business, and make sure I have routines established so that things don’t slip through the cracks. In raising kids, I taught my kids how to do things, like cleaning the house (this is true). For example, growing up we always cleaned house on Saturday and if we were going to be busy that day, we would do it Friday, but I always cleaned on the weekend because it helped me stay organized. With kids, I always dealt with mail and backpacks right away and would do a lot of things while cooking dinner (say what? That would definitely lead to a fire if it were me).”
- How do you deal with the imperfect moments – “It is not always perfect. Certain things bother me more than others. For example, my house gives me more stress than other things might for some people, but I always try to go by that saying of ‘The Lord doesn’t give you more than you can handle,’ so if the Lord thinks I can handle this, then I can handle it. This has been my mantra in life mostly. Keep moving forward, tomorrow is a new day.”
- What do you think contributes to today’s generation of struggling with perfectionism and growing up and/or why do you think this has become such a problem for so many young people – “When I was your age, I never had my hair done or nails done, and I wore whatever clothes I wanted. I didn’t have celebrity comparison or social media, so I didn’t really know what was in style, which helped relieve a lot of the pressure. They didn’t have a lot of the things that are out now and because of that, you just sort of had to accept the way you looked. Plus, everything wasn’t instantaneous like it is now, where you can order one thing one night and have it on your door step the next day (she gave the example of Amazon). Also, not as many women worked, things have gotten more costly, and there wasn’t the safety concern for your kids to play outside and you could trust others. I think all of those things contribute for sure.”
- Best advice for us when we feel like we can’t overcome our struggles – “I guess if I had to choose something, it would be to just do the best you can. Things aren’t always going to be perfect and right and that is okay. Everything you do, from your job, to parenting, to being a wife, you will make mistakes. You are not always going to perfect and can only be the best version of yourself. You will look back in all facets of life and wish you had done things differently and that is just realty. For me, my main focus over everything was always my family. I didn’t want to work to where I missed things for my children and because of that, I may not have made as much money as others did, but I don’t regret that. As you move forward, continue to evaluate what you are doing and what you are getting out of it, and if its benefiting you and your family. You can’t do it all. For us, we definitely sacrificed our relationship a little for our kids, and I sort of regret that because now we are trying to learn how to be together again and it can be hard at times.”
- What was one hard lesson you learned and had to overcome – Financially, we should have saved for our kids’ college when we were younger and we didn’t. Because of that, we had to work really hard as we got older to pay for our kids’ college. Personally, I wish I would have taken better care of myself physically than I did and had made little changes that would have helped a lot. Now, it is really hard to struggle with. In regards to my children, I wish I would have made my kids a little more independent at a younger age. I feel that I may have done too much and took care of everything because that is what I did. I feel like now, my kids are okay and they might not have participated, but they watched as I did things, so I feel like they learned, but I wish I would have started younger with you girls.”
- Best advice for your kids or future kids – “Tell them to do whatever they want to do and always teach them that they have more potential than they realized.”
- Best advice as we grow older – “As you grow up, you have to make decisions and they may not be the right ones, but sometimes you have to make them without thinking and once they are made, you have to live with them whether they were right or wrong and that’s okay. Just move on from them and learn from them.”
- If you could do it all over, what would you take back – ” I would take better care of myself, foster my friendships a little bit better, and maintain a strong relationship with my husband. Now, I just really wish I had better connections with people.”
- If you could give any one piece of advice/knowledge/golden nugget, what would it be – “Stay in your lane. Don’t look at other people and compare because everyone has stuff. It is important to stay in your relationship with your husband and not compare it to others because you never know what is going on in other people’s lives and relationships. When you do compare, you take that comparison and fracture your relationships, and ultimately yourself because you are always trying to achieve something that isn’t real. Don’t compare. Think of your blessings instead. It never stops, so nip it now so it doesn’t haunt you moving forward. It is hard, even still, but it is so important.”
Well there you have it folks! My new series, “Your Everyday Woman.” I am so excited to begin sharing so many amazing women’s stories and hopefully help to provide some great pieces of advice. With these posts, I encourage you to use what works for you and also realize that even the ones who we think have it all together, may be struggling to afloat just as much as we are. We are stronger together and I am so excited to share these stories with you moving forward!