Guest Contributing Post By: Nathelie Zetrenne-Norman
As a millennial mom, constantly adding things to an already full plate, I had to learn how to balance activities, and life itself.
Not balanced as in, “I can make my way through the week cramming things in,” but, being efficient in my methods; organizing my time and utilizing it well, while also understanding it is okay to say, “no.”
At 28 years old, my life isn’t exactly what I thought it would be.
Between chasing after a one-year-old, working full-time as an Admissions Counselor which requires frequent traveling, being a Master’s level student who intends to graduate with a notable grade point average, a wife, and friend, and simply trying to be myself- times get rough.
In the beginning of my program, I often wondered, “Why did you do this to yourself?” Of course I didn’t have to sit through a two-hour, twice-a-week, online class or write long papers on the synopsis of educational theory. But I realized, adding on these extra responsibilities and tasks, were things I genuinely wanted. I wouldn’t have been putting myself through the ringer if they weren’t.
But about halfway through my graduate program, I took a hiatus from school. I was trying to figure out what I would do with the degree since my career plans had changed. I had a growing child who needed me every two seconds, a house that needed to be cleaned, a meal that needed to be cooked, laundry that needed to be folded, or a phone that needed to be answered because I was too tired to chat last time. During this hiatus, I realized it didn’t matter what I took off my plate, things would still be hard. Mothering, wifing, living, and basically functioning wouldn’t get any easier; I needed to find a way to make it work.
So, I decided that although my career plans had changed, I’d enroll back in classes and make the time. No more, “I don’t have time” or “I just don’t feel like it.” I knew this was the beginning of getting to where I wanted to be; showing my son and other moms the best is always yet to come!
I chose to move with urgency. I set my priorities. I stopped allowing myself to get bogged down. I had to stop worrying about the towels being folded incorrectly if I asked my husband to do them, while I sat and completed an assignment. I had to stop being annoyed with the toys being scattered on the floor in every room after having picked them up thirty minutes prior. I learned to give myself the permission to say, “I’ll take out the trash now, but the grass will just get cut tomorrow.”
I realized stress is a choice. Yes, things may get annoying and not go your way, but that doesn’t have to stress you out.
It’s a balancing act.
I had to understand there is only so much time in a day to complete tasks, but also, only so much time in a day to kiss and hug on your loved ones; time to tell yourself, you’re amazing.
And those are the most important parts.
So, during the chaos of writing papers, changing diapers, playing peek-a-boo, folding laundry, cooking dinner, and answering the phone even when I don’t feel like it, I remember there is always tomorrow.
And something can wait!