As I settle into my role as SAHM, I struggle to understand what success looks like. When Nick asks me how my day was, my response is usually one of two options: “It was good. I got X, Y, Z done” or “It was awful. I barely got anything done.” I obviously measure the quality of my day by the quantity of accomplishments. And I’m realizing that this is exhausting.
Already this week I’ve scrubbed both bathrooms, vacuumed twice, washed and put away countless dishes, swept and mopped the kitchen floor, grocery shopped (bonus points for doing this with Milo), baked treats for small group, and done 2 loads of laundry. That’s in addition to my daily tasks of making lunch and dinner, going for walks with Milo, and running. Today when I woke up, I felt depleted. As I made my coffee, I pondered what should be on my to-do list. There are a million things I could do, but I decided that today I’m only giving 70%. Because giving 100% is stupid.
Now you might be thinking that sounds lazy. Or that your boss would never accept 70% from you on a given day. But let me illustrate this for you using running as an example.
I follow a training schedule for running. On Tuesdays, I do speedwork. This is usually a mid-distance run that is really intense. Wednesdays are a short, easy run. Thursdays are another mid-distance run that is usually a tempo run. So it’s one that I pick up the pace and push a bit. Fridays I take a break from running and strength train. Saturday is the long run. This is a tiring day because it’s usually 3 or more hours of running, but I’m not running hard enough to feel exhausted. Sunday is another day of low miles and an easy pace. Then Monday is a complete rest day.
Every day has it’s own goal and purpose, and not every day is 100%. There is a balance between all out efforts and rest. When someone is new to running, they will often try to run at 100% everyday. They think that’s the way you get faster. In realty, that’s the way you get burned out or injured.
So why wouldn’t other aspects of life follow the same principles? How long can a person give 100% to their job, relationships, etc before it all becomes too much? What if I stopped judging my day by how much I get done, and start assessing it by the way I feel at the end of the day? Could success be a day in which I give 60%, but my family is fed and I feel restored emotionally?
That’s my plan. To give 90-100% some days, but in between those days have ones of 70-80%. And to appreciate the rest days where I do nothing and wear sweats all day. This will be a challenge because as a novice SAHM, I want to give my all every day. But let’s face it, my all is becoming less and less with this mentality. Let’s trash 100% and start living with lower expectations.