Have You “Shark-Tanked” Your Life?

My two year anniversary of becoming a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is swiftly approaching {aye yi yi!}. When I made the decision to leave full-time work to be a full-time mama, I was scared! So scared in fact that I over-extended myself from the get-go.

Before leaving my job, I had a few freelance jobs already in the progress, my at-home preschool schedule all designed, and weekly activities planned. To go further, any time a friend or an acquaintance needed any help, I was right there. “I’m staying at home, right? I have all the time in the world.”

The problem is that no one has all the time in the world. We all have 168 hours in a week. How we choose to spend them is up to us.

An amazing book that actually was pivotal in my decision to start being a SAHM is When Work and Family Collide. In this book, it boldly states that more often than not, we are cheating a part of our life – either work or family. I discovered that I had been cheating my family of my time.

Of my 168 hours, my family was receiving a very small percentage. And that was my choice, my fault. And I found myself doing it all over again! Not by work, mind you, but by

  • projects I put into my own life,
  • favors I insisted upon doing because I simply didn’t want to let people down, and
  • new events that I agreed to because “I’m staying at home, right? I have all the time in the world.”

Then, I had a mind-shift.

In the show Shark-Tank, a panel of very wealthy investors listen to business proposals and agree or disagree to invest in the company. If they decide to pass on the investment opportunity, they offer a swift summary of what they don’t like about the product or service and simply say “I’m out.” It’s so blunt, I love it.

We have the same opportunity in our lives. These 168 hours a week are our investment we have to give. If I find myself starting to feel overwhelmed, I ask myself: Is the return on investment (ROI) good for my family? If the request does not positively impact my family, I’m out.

Now, it is not simply that black and white, so let me give you an example.

Last year, I got involved in my eldest daughter’s Parent-Teacher Organization at school. I attended meetings, set up events, volunteered my skills, etc. so that “I could be involved with my daughter.” Well, the reality was that I was leaving my daughter to do things for my daughter! Wow. That’s counter-productive! I want my daughter to know that I support her, so I am going to leave her in order to do so. Hmm… When you say it out loud, it doesn’t sound so good.

So, I formulated a “Shark-Tank Decision”: Because of the amount of time I am spending away from my family and the other priorities I have in my schedule, I’m out.

NOTE: I am not saying bail out on current projects, but rather evaluate your list of to-dos at an appropriate time and prioritize!

Yes, you may disappoint some people. But who would you rather disappoint: People you just met or your family?

Sometimes, the answer will overlap. Sometimes, you will disappoint family members {been there, done that!}. But when you have the luxury of designing your schedule, it will happen a lot less. I guarantee it.

Now, I certainly still do over-extend myself at times. It took me a good year and a half at home {I’d say} to find out exactly what my priorities were/are. Since finding that balance, everything has been less stressful and more fun!


Have a great day!


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