As parents of complex kids, I think we have more weight on our shoulders than parents of typical kids. I'm not trying to be a martyr here – it's just that our issues can be whole lot more complicated. And that can be really hard to manage.
And yet – all of our other responsibilities don't go away just because our kids are struggling in life, in school, or both.
So in an effort to make life just a little simpler for you this year, and hopefully more manageable, here are my three best tips for any parent to juggle your busy life – from a parent-educator-life-coach-author-mom-of-3 who has found herself (shockingly) running a global, online business.
- Take ownership of your time. Remember that we don't “get the time” to do things – we make the time. It's a conscious choice, and it's more about getting clear on your intentions than anything else. Whenever I hear “I haven't had the time to…” it's usually code for “this has not been a priority for me.” And truly, not everything can be a priority – there's plenty that I haven't gotten to, yet. But I'm not a victim of that – I'm the decision-maker. And that sense of clarity and determination – back to the prioritization I talked about earlier – is the key to my success.
- Find an accountability partner. Identify someone in your life who can help you pay attention to your current priorities. When you're really busy and juggling family and work and (dare I say it?) self care, prioritization is key, but challenging. This could be a business partner, an assistant, a coach, or colleague, an “accountability buddy,” or a significant other/spouse (though be cautious because this one could be tricky). It should be someone you're checking in with daily (or weekly at least) if only briefly, to keep yourself focused.
- ALWAYS, always make time for the things that are feeding your soul and heart. Whether you are jazzed by school events for your kids or coffee with a friend in need, no matter how busy life gets – remember to be human first. It may make for late nights occasionally, but there won't be resentment or “woulda-coulda-shoulda” moments that rob you of the true joys of your busy life.
Now, don't get me wrong – I'm by no means perfect, and there are definitely times that I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel looking for a graceful way to exit. But for the most part, the truth is that for any parent to juggle your busy life, the secret starts with you – taking ownership, setting clear intentions, and making sure you do the things that fuel your heart.