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Coming to terms with not ‘doing it all’ anymore

I am writing this blog three days before Christmas, but you are likely reading it three days into the New Year. I’m in that Winter Solstice period where I look back over the past year and look forward to the year ahead (and in between I panic about being ready for the holiday.) 

I don’t know what 2023 will bring, but as I take this moment to reflect, I have a few thoughts. 

It struck me a few weeks ago that I am constantly running, either mentally or physically, but never really getting anywhere. I am always on my way from Point A to Point B, urging my kids to get dressed, eat, brush their teeth, do their homework, all in a certain amount of time so we can move on to the next event.  

I’m blessed with a good support system; even when my schedule and/or my husband’s schedule gets wonky, I have my parents and sister less than 10 minutes away and they’re more than happy to help with the kiddos. 

Our schedules aren’t THAT crazy, at least compared to a lot of people I know. I finagled both girls into the same gymnastics class, even though it’s for ages 7 and up and Annabelle was only 6 (and a half!) when it started. The girls’ soccer practices this fall were back to back, and their games were in the morning slate, so we didn’t have one at 9 a.m. and the other at 2:30 p.m., for example. 

So why am I so tired? 

Last month I wrote about parenting from the place you are in life at any given time. As the new year begins, I’m examining where I am right now and coming to terms with the idea that it may be time to let some things go, because I cannot do it all anymore. 

My inner 20-year-old is scoffing at me because I don’t do half of what I used to. I have to remind her that she’s half my age and probably has half of my responsibilities, not to mention the physical changes my body has gone through since her day. 

There’s also that guilty voice that plays the comparison game and questions how I can be burned out when other moms juggle full-time jobs and more kids and more activities and don’t have backup nearby, and oh by the way, they manage to have neat houses and get the occasional haircut. As I evaluate the fatigue and failures of the past year, I’m trying to understand myself better and accept that while the 20-year-old is in my head, I’m 45 and who and where I am at this point is OK. I think it may even make me a better parent and a better person, not a lesser one because I “do” less. 

I wonder how all this will look a year from now.  

Jen Deinlein
Jen Deinlein is a self-professed “Jen of all trades and master of none.” She’s a SAHM to 8- and 5-year-old daughters, a freelance writer (you can also see her work in CPBJ) and head cheerleading coach at Penn State Mont Alto. She and her family live in Guilford Township, Franklin County, with a golf course in the backyard where they frequently rescue lost golf balls. You can reach Jen on Instagram: @groovypq; Twitter: @jlbd77 or by email: [email protected].

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