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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


I’ve learnt to be more gracious to myself and others over the past few years. Especially with the arrival of my two precious girls. I’ve learnt that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything”.

Young children, sleepless nights and toddler tantrums are challenging parts of this mothering season. I remember with my first, who was generally a champ sleeper, had a terrible-awful-no-good stretch of bad nights. I had some activities and commitments planned in my schedule and I mustered up my game face to be present at the scheduled events. Barely conscious I might add. I was so tired. So weak. So DONE trying to show up and be put together. But I did it anyway. At what cost? I was less loving to my husband, less kind to myself and not protective of my physical and mental health.

My mom, oh sweet Nana, reminded me of something her best friend taught her years ago: clear the calendar.

Clear. The. Calendar.

I mean it. Reschedule that play date, ask someone else to bring snack to soccer, let the bathroom collect some dust. This is the season to let it all hang out. And if you’re struggling by the thought of this, you probably need it most.

I feel like I need to clear the calendar every other month. I find myself feeling overwhelmed with social activities, commitments, chores and to do lists. I keep saying “one more day, one more day – then I can breathe.” Those days add up to weeks and pretty soon I’m breaking at the seams.

This week, I’m clearing the calendar. And this is how I’m doing it:

  • I’m keeping our doctor’s appointment because this isn’t always easy to reschedule and somewhat necessary.

  • I’m pushing off a coffee date until the end of the month.

  • I’m using my “no” muscle and saying I can’t make a few social activities – without even rescheduling and trying to fill my next month’s calendar. I told a friend that life has felt a little out of control with commitments, so we will touch base in a couple of weeks when it has slowed down again. (I’m true to my word!)

  • I’m scheduling things that can be cancelled. Like a home day, a walk with the girls to the park or a morning at the gym. Something that I know fills my soul and makes me feel relaxed so I can pour out again. Or, that I can cancel without feeling guilty. Some days I need flexibility and that is freeing.

  • Pyjama Day. We are going to have a pyjama day. We will watch a movie in the morning, put off getting dressed and spend some time on the couch. We all need down time!

  • Nap. I’m scheduling in a nap. I know not everyone is a napper, but I am. Napping fills my soul and my energy reserves.

  • Simplifying meals. I’m going to plan a few easy meals in the evenings and even ask my husband to take over two dinners this week.

It’s okay to do less. I often have to remind myself of this. I feel like as mothers’, as soon as the baby is sleeping through the night (ish), we put pressure on ourselves to resume our “old” lives. But that is exactly what it is: an old life. We are on a new path, a new direction. We. Will. Never. Go back. There might be elements of our old lives and selves, but there are very good things about our new selves and new lives. And if you haven’t heard me say it before, I’ll say it again: you’re allowed to figure it out.

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