“How do you do it? I could never stay home with my kids all the time.”
Yes, you could. You could if you really believed it was the best choice for your family. You could cut the budget corners and squeeze in a part time job if you needed to. You could learn how to shop at Aldi and hit more than one grocery store to make sure you get the best deals, instead of just walking into Publix with your list and ignoring the prices. (Man I miss Publix.) You could do the research to find fun, free activities in your area so that your kids stay entertained (and you get out of the house) without breaking the bank. You could learn how to squeeze in some you time where you can and how to adjust your view of what you contribute to your family and your household.
Because, believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. I love my children and my husband, but June Cleaver I’m not. Some days, Daniel Tiger is as much (or more?) a parent as I am. Some days, I thank God that my mom is just a phone call away and a magician at wrangling kids and getting laundry done at the same time. Some days it’s pancakes for supper. Some days I take off my pajamas for the first time when I shower at 10 p.m., just to put another pair on. I am not a Pinterest mom or the perfect wife. Five years ago, I would’ve never dreamed that I would be a stay at home mom. Even just last year, while pregnant with Ellie, I frequently uttered the phrase, “I just can’t be a stay at home mom.”
But then she was born, and I quickly recognized that my daughter is not as easygoing as my son is. A few weeks in, I immediately knew that daycare was not the right place for her. She would’ve been miserable, and thus so would I. So our plans changed, and what I thought I couldn’t do, clearly I can. I may not be the best at it. But let’s be honest, I’m sure there were better communications managers when I was working full time, too.
Besides, I want to raise children who don’t see limits on what they can accomplish. I want them to be determined and tenacious and, when they’ve decided what they want, I want them to go after it with confidence and gusto. So these days, I’m not a big fan of can’t. It’s too limiting, while at the same time too freeing. Can’t is a great excuse for things that seem tedious or difficult. It also stops you before you even get started.
The start of a new year is a great time to get rid of can’t. Instead of can’t, decide what it is you want. Then be honest, and look at what’s getting in the way. What are the obstacles between you and your goal? What makes you say “I can’t?” Then, you remove the ones you can and learn to surmount the ones that remain.
So, no more “I can’t” quit the awful job/start my own business/take that amazing vacation. No more “I can’t” make this work/forgive that person/ask for forgiveness.
You’re way too strong for can’t, my friend.