It’s summer again, and I’m still tired from last summer.
Last summer was my first season with my commercial kitchen at home and running a legit custom cake business from the house.
It was intense. I did 37 weddings, which for some bakeries is not a lot, but I am a one-woman operation. Throw into that mix a weekly farmers market as well (June through September). On top of my business, we are parenting two little ones and running an orchard…plus, we started an Air BnB. Yes, we’re crazy.
It took me until December before I could face going back down to my studio again. I was exhausted. Mentally exhausted. A good kind of exhausted – that kind of tired where you’re falling asleep in your dinner, heart full but just tired….so very tired.
As fulfilling as this busy-ness was, it was overwhelming. Too much. Overwhelming in the way that a good nights sleep and a day off to rest is not enough to recharge.
It taught me some lessons that I am really honing in on, 8 months later. Lessons that will be the focus of this website, moving forward. I have to keep these lessons on the forefront, so that I can be intentional about them not repeating themselves.
Here are three ways that my Summer of Overwhelm has actually been a good thing, because it brought to light three important lessons:
1. The lesson of SIMPLIFYING THE HOME – the more stuff around the house, the more things I have to pick up, especially with two young kids. A full and cluttered house makes me anxious and uncomfortable, and I need to remove the blinders and recognize that maybe we have too much stuff. Clutter makes it hard to clean, and that is another whole issue. A tidy house is easier to rest in, to enjoy, and it means that less time is needed to keep it looking and feeling at its best. Simplifying the home includes simplifying cleaning, clothing (and laundry), meal prep, cooking, and decor.
Why is this important? When the home is tidy and I’m not surrounded by piles of papers/laundry/stuff, the busy-ness of my mind can actually rest. But when there is stuff everywhere, all I see are more Things To-Do. Things to put on the list.
2. The lesson of PRIORITIES – between family, work, and home, it seems that the expected priority should be on family, right?
To an extent, yes.
But the longer I have been living with a lot on the go, the more I have realized that all of these priorities are important.
To have a complete life, all of these priorities have to co-exist together. It isn’t so much about prioritizing one over the other — rather, it is about focusing on one and only one at a time.
It is a proven fact that multitasking is not good for us, nor is it possible to do effectively. Focus on one priority at a time will ensure the dedicated focus needed to rock each area of life. I have to prioritize family, kids, home, marriage, work, other responsibilities. Each area of life needs dedicated focus and its own time to shine.
When we are super busy and overwhelmed, it is too easy to put the blinders on and only focus on the biggest job at hand. While this might be good for short term success, it comes at the cost of something else. For us, it has meant too many shortcuts in the kitchen (too many convenience foods), and most importantly, not enough time having FUN and making family memories together.
3. The lesson of SELF CARE – it is easy to be a martyr and take care of everyone else before yourself. Especially as a mom. The kids, the house, the work….everything else seems to come first. But I’ve learned that if I don’t take care of ME, I can’t take care of anyone or anything else. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
These three lessons I’ve learned are the areas that I will dive deeper into in the coming months and beyond.
I don’t like the word “busy”, it sounds like an excuse. I have a full life. A full life means that I have a lot of things on the go, and I’m ever searching for ways to balance it all. The more that I can make life flow seamlessly from one facet to the next, and smoother of a life it will be.
As Moms, especially those who are working or have a side hustle, we all have full lives. We all need tips and tricks from others who have found ways to make it work. We need encouragement. And most of all, we need support and community, to recognize that we aren’t the only ones trying to raise little ones while building our own empires as well.