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Ever feel like you can’t see the Big Picture?

I’m in the ‘trenches’ stage.  The stage where we run on 4 to 5 hours of sleep.  Where my time has to be carefully divided between things like making lunches, practicing sight words, preparing for class projects and finding the girl’s riding boots (that I swear were just here) because we were supposed to be out the door 4 minutes ago.

I’m also needing to order my post cards for Christmas Mini Sessions, edit five sessions, get back on track with my blog schedule, record the next video segment, and tackle my never-ending inbox.  (Have you ever noticed that your inbox is really just someone else’s agenda for you?)

Add to that, that I need to grocery shop, get dinner prepped for tonight… My floors should have been mopped a week ago, and Bi-Zi Farms just called to let me know that my 120 pounds of pickling cucumbers are ready to be picked up – so I also need to schedule time to do that.  Oh, and I almost forgot – I need to stop by the post office to mail out last month’s giveaway.  And I promised Ella that I would pick up a thermos for her lunchbox.

Like I said…. I’m in the trenches.

Each day brings new challenges.  Somedays I seem to handle them with gusto, and I can’t help but pat myself on the back on those days, and reward myself with a giant chocolate milkshake.

Other days, I just can’t imagine how I’ll do it all.  And every once in a while, I even have to sit and cry for a moment while I say a silent prayer and ask for help.

…And then I pick myself up, resolve to work smarter, and console myself with… a giant chocolate milkshake.

I am in the trenches… And I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.

Maybe you can relate?  I am learning every day how to be who I want to be.  Some days I do better than others.

I’ve learned that I do better when I set rules and rewards for myself – I like having my own “star chart.”  And I’m learning to be creative with how I get my work done.  In fact, I’m writing this post on my iPad while sitting at Chuck E Cheese with my four-year-old.

This year I will have TWO in all-day school, and our youngest is in preschool for a couple hours a day, twice a week.  I’m excited to see how our new routine works.  It’s gotta get easier, right?  I can’t imagine going back to the days of two in preschool, an infant, my husband in an insanely demanding graduate program, and running two businesses simultaneously.

I need to remember that on the tough days.  Wow… I think my trenches are starting to sprout wildflowers.

This year, one of my biggest rules will effect work hours – more specifically, what will not be work hours. From 4pm to 8:15pm will be my no work time.  No matter what, from the time they get home from school till they go to bed, I will be 100% mom for them.

I know, of course, because I’m setting this rule, that all kinds of ‘crises’ will arise and always only during those specified hours.  I guess that’s why I will have to force myself to not even look – so I won’t be tempted to go save the day!  The real day that needs to be saved is happening within the walls of my own home.  That is where I am needed most; this is where I am truly most important.  Wish me luck – today is the first day!

Have you found any tricks to balancing your many roles?  What are you doing to help make your ‘trenches’ become a little more inhabitable?



  1. Yana K says:

    really enjoyed reading this Leah. Good to know the superwoman I look up to is still human. (Super cute straws by the way!)

  2. Donna B says:

    Love this! I often feel this way since I also work a full time job. Going to try to stick to my own office hours this year so that when I am home with my boy I can be his mom and not a mom to the computer. I’m totally creating a star sticker chart for myself 🙂

  3. Nina says:

    You are so brave woman! I’m also trying to balance my new business, first-grade son and little daughter and it’s not simple! Your lead is so helpful, thank you for this post!

  4. Sarah Grace says:

    Oh honey, Leah. We are on the SAME PAGE today. Check this out:

    My first step is to actually LOVING the trenches is to have less ‘In a Minute’ moments with my little girl. I simply want to be present with her. 🙂 You are rockin!

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