Thursday, January 26, 2012

Supermom and Superwoman: Balancing It All

Time to time, I receive messages and emails from people asking something along the lines of, "How do you balance it all and manage to fit it all in?" While I am absolutely flattered that readers feel comfortable coming to me to ask questions, etc, I must say that I am in no way an expert on balancing life as a single mother. But I try because that's what truly counts in life anyway, right?

One way that I always answer the question is something along the lines of this: I try to prioritize as much as possible. Sometimes that looks different depending on the week. Case in point: this week Aiden has Kindergarten interviews so that has been my main focus.

(By the way, I'm totally having a "Argh... I hate NYC and the entire private school admissions process/Why didn't I move to the suburbs?/ Why can't every kid just go to a good school?" type of week. So be sure to send Aiden your well wishes. But I digress...) Between prepping myself for typical interview questions, trying not to be nervous in front of Aiden, and bribing him with ice cream encouraging him with the little rewards, I've been a busy bee.

But it's always like that. I'm always busy.

My focus just shifts depending on the week. Sometimes I stay up until 3am to write articles, sometimes I'm too tired so I go to bed by midnight. Sometimes I cover media events around NYC. Sometimes I want to be able to tuck Aiden in bed and read him a bedtime story.

Sometimes I need to give our apartment my attention by cleaning and cooking and all that jazz. Sometimes I'd rather contribute to the mess by playing with Aiden on the floor (floor puzzles seem to be his favorite activity at the moment). Sometimes I need a rigorous hour-long kick-ass workout. Sometimes I need a low key 30-minute hey-this-is-better-than-nothing walk.

Sometimes I need to go-go-go to get ish done. Sometimes I need to slow down and meditate. Sometimes I need to go out on the town with my girlfriends because that gives me a different kind of energy. Sometimes I need to stay in because, well, I just don't feel like going out.

But what I always, always, always do is this one thing: prioritize what needs to get done for the next week or two and make a reasonable plan to get it done. ("Reasonable" being the operative word here.) And then I move on to the next thing. And I make a reasonable plan to get that done. And so on and so forth. And slowly, but surely, things get done.

So I guess the "secret" is this: I can balance multiple things because my full focus, energy, and attention are only on one or two of those things at a time.

What about you? How do you balance it all and get things done?


  1. I could prioritize the heck out of my schedule and still not accomplish a quarter of what you ARE some kind of Superwoman. BTW, I watched a documentary on the NYC private school admission process for preschoolers and my jaw dropped. You two rock, so I know Aiden will get into a good school.

  2. I think it is different for me since I am a SAHM and have a very flexible schedule. The best thing I ever did for myself was learning how to say "NO". I make simple to-do lists each morning and if I don't get something done, life still goes on. I don't ever get into the super busy mode. Then again, I live in a slower-paced suburban area so life is simple around these parts.

  3. "Cause I am a Superwoman
    Yes I am
    Yes she is
    Even when I'm a mess
    I still put on a vest
    With an S on my chest
    Oh yes
    I'm a Superwoman

    For all the mothers fighting
    For better days to come
    And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
    To come home before the sun
    And all my sisters
    Coming together
    Say yes I will
    Yes I can

    You go girl :)

  4. I have a calendar and to do list for everyday of the week. i have to stay on it or things wont get done!

  5. Priorities and staying organized are key. Like you said it shifts from day-to-day but overall I start by tackling a very long to-do list and work my schedule around what I need to do for work/my house and of course my children. Sometimes a work event is important, whereas other times I need to be home to make dinner and put the kids to bed. And yes, 3am writing sounds about right.

  6. Supportive team - I have sidekicks. That's the only way I can get everything that I need to get done - done...

  7. You are definitely both, supermom, superwoman, superwriter! I think balancing it all is a trick. I can it equilibrium cos the pressure at work and at home varies each day, so I dont exactly have a balanced life on a given day. I think you are doing an amazing job being a working mom and doing so much for your son. Keep it up lady!

  8. It is so hard to balance, I can totally relate. Good luck with the private school process - I have friends who have done this and they tell me how challenging it is. Hey, you can always move to the suburbs. :) - Bicultural Mama

  9. To-do lists help me balance everything. Without it seems like my world comes crashing down. It helps to me prioritize the things that need to get done asap from the things that can wait.

  10. I try my best and sometimes things are totally balanced and other times... not so much. If if HAS to happen then that's the priority and I make it happen. I happen to have a partner in the struggle though so yes I agree with everyone else you are some kind of superwoman! Own it! Done and done!

  11. Ugh, don't get me started on this school system in the city and the hoops and hurdles you have to jump thru to make sure your kids dont end up at a school like in "Lean On Me."

    Anyhoo, you do an amazing job of balancing it all, and i've often wondered how you are able to do it. Thanks for breaking it down! My hats off to you, as i find myself feeling tired/drained/frustrated frequently and that's WITH help.

  12. I understand the frustration when interviewing for private schools. Remember the end result is so worth the painstaking efforts.

    Enjoyed the post! Have a great and grand non-busy weekend!

  13. I've said before and I'll say again - you're doing an AMAZING job!!!

    I balance my priorities by deciding like you, what really has to be done today. And that is all I attempt to do. Everything else gets shoved to tomorrow's list and then if I do finish everything on today's list, I feel great that I can move onto the next list - or rest! : )

  14. I say Amen to this! When you are so busy that there seems to be not enough hours in a day, it really is important to prioritize. Heck, otherwise you will never get anything done and plus it's stressful without a clear plan. A to do list is a must.

  15. It gets a little stressful trying to get everything done in one day. Sometimes I find myself trying to do it all and then I realize that yes, there is a tomorrow...moving on. I usually triage my day to day life. Each day something for the kids, home, and husband gets done. Whenever I get it done, I always say BAM! LOL.


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