Managing Your Career, Home, and Motherhood with Grace and Grit

Managing your career, home, and motherhood can be so overwhelming.  Most days it can feel like you are drowning in overwhelm and stress.  You have a long to-do list at work and a long to-do list at home.  You have people that need you at work and your family and children that need you at home.  You work all day just to come home and work some more.  Trust me, I get it! How in the world do you find the energy and time to do ALL the things?  To keep going. To not fall into a depressed state of mind.  I promise that you can find happiness and fulfillment while managing your career, home, and motherhood.  You have to be willing to grow, change, evolve, and put in some work in order to get the life you long for.In the past 5 and a half years, I moved to a new town, I got a job, got engaged, got married, lived with my in-laws, moved into our first home with my husband, found out I was pregnant, had a baby, settled into my role as a mama, quit my job, found a new job, and have finally become happy (most days) in my career and motherhood.  It has been a very long road to find that happiness in managing all the things in life.  There was a point in all this when I was just completely overwhelmed and depressed.  I was learning to manage my career and my new role as a mama.  It was hard and there were times when I just didn’t know how I was going to do it.  I was struggling just to keep my head above water.  There were so many life changing moments where I had to learn, grow, and adapt.  Change is hard, but it is inevitable in this life.  I know right now I may be settled and have good rhythms, but I know that could very well change at any minute.

Here are some of the areas that I had to evaluate and change in order to start showing up in my life the way I wanted to.

Evaluate your current situation.  Take some time to think about your current situation.  What is working or not working for you?  How is your job? Your home? Your energy level?  For me, my biggest burden was my job.  It was high stress and very demanding.  I used up everything I had before I even got home.  That left nothing for my family.  I knew I had to find another job.  I had to change that situation.  You have the power to change your situation.  Don’t sell yourself short!  What is the main thing that is causing stress for you?  You can change it for the better.

Self-care.  Is your well completely dry?  Do you feel like you are running on empty? No energy?  Make sure you are taking care of yourself.  Self-care comes in many forms and can include spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental elements.  Get away for a coffee date with a friend, make time for a devotion and quiet time every morning, write down three things you are grateful for each day, or start a journal.  Sometimes you just need an outlet where you can unburden yourself.  One thing that has made a HUGE impact for me is to get up earlier to have time to myself.  This time could be spent working out, reading the Bible, praying, or just being able to enjoy a HOT cup of coffee.  I start my day feeling refreshed and ready to take on life.

Your health.   This goes along with self-care, but it is super important.  I’m telling you right now, don’t think that you can eat junk food and feel amazing.  Food can either be the best medicine or the slowest form of poison.  Eating healthier can help you sleep better, have more energy, and lose weight.  You cannot show up in your life the way you need to if you are not fueling your body the right way.  A bad diet can lead to tons of other health problems like adrenal fatigue, gut issues, etc.  Also, make sure you are drinking enough water.  Not drinking enough water can give you headaches, make you feel more hungry, make you tired, and dry out your skin.  Give your body what it needs so that it can better serve you.  Your health is an investment!

Manage your time.  There are seasons of life when you just CANNOT do everything that you want to.  It is OK!  Give yourself some GRACE.  Make a list of all things you have going on and prioritize them.  What can wait or what can be taken off the list?  It is ok to say no to things at certain times in your life. Maybe you are at a point in your life when you have several small children.  Then it is probably not the right time to volunteer for extra activities at church or in your community.  You have the power to take things off your plate.  Don’t feel guilty.  You don’t need to be stretched too thin or you will always be living in survival mode.  Make space in your schedule and in your life to enjoy things that matter most to you.

Create rhythms and routines.  Creating rhythms and routines for your days and weeks can make things flow more smoothly.  Having set routines can ease the burden of decision fatigue.  They help your husband and children know what to expect.  They can definitely help ease some of the overwhelm you are feeling.  Create daily rhythms for your morning, daytime, and evening.  Create a weekly rhythm for things like meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.  Create a monthly rhythm for things that don’t have to be done as often like paying bills.  It may take some trial and error, but find what works best for your family.

Meal Planning.  Meal planning can save you lots of time and energy.  Plan out your meals for the week and make a list accordingly.  Schedule ONE day a week to go grocery shopping and get everything you need for the meals you have planned.  Find simple, easy to fix meals that your family enjoys.  Repeat them every week or every other week to keep things simple.  A slow cooker, instant pot, or freezer meals can help ease the work load.

Personal Development.  Never stop learning, growing, and bettering yourself.  I know you are probably thinking how in the world am I going to find time to read.  I think it is so beneficial to work on personal development.  It is an investment in becoming a better version of yourself.  You don’t have to spend hours a day reading.  Just carve out a few minutes each day to read a couple pages. You could work this into your mornings or maybe right before you go to sleep.  Little by little you can work on your personal development.

Simplify.  This is a HUGE one for me.  I cannot thrive in a place that is cluttered and messy.  This past year I got really intentional about de-cluttering and getting rid of unnecessary stuff.  It has been AMAZING and has lifted a huge weight off of me.  It makes me excited to do more.  Less stuff means less to clean up which means more time for the things that matter which means less overwhelm for you.

Setting Goals. Set some goals for you and your family and go after them.  Give yourself something to work towards and look forward to.  Write your goals down and then break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily action items.  You are 80% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.  One of my favorite tools for goal setting are PowerSheets.

Spending time with God. I listed this last, but this is actually number ONE for me.  Spend time reading the Bible and praying each day.  There have been times in my life where I didn’t read the Bible or pray for days, weeks, and months on end.  And those were some of the most challenging times for me.  I was negative and had a terrible mindset.  When God is not in the picture life gets so much messier than it needs to be.  I’m not saying that your life will always be easy, but you will find the strength and wisdom to take on anything.  You just need to ask God for it, follow his will, and keep him at the center of your life.

There is so much more I could expand on with each of these topics, but I just wanted to give you a snap shot of different areas to work on to simplify your life and find more purpose.  I am not saying to change all these things at one time.  Decide what areas are causing you the most stress and work on those first.  Little by little progress each day will get you to where you want to go.  Any progress is good progress.  Just keep going and working towards the kind of life you want.


Kelly Johnson
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