Wanted: An attractive, well-dressed, educated Christian woman who will be an excellent mother, loving wife, doting daughter, caring sister/aunt, and friend to lean on.  Must also be the breadwinner at work, maintain a clean, calm home, shop for and prepare healthy meals, participate in church and community activities, manage household finances, engage in interesting hobbies, manage appointments, and have excellent follow through.

Would you apply to this posting?  I’m sure many of you have without even realizing it.  You feel guilty that you can’t go to your child’s game, your mother complains you don’t visit enough, and your house looks nothing like the Pinterest posts you follow.  What to do? Read below:

Step 1: Recognize your limits.  There is a fallacy of giving 110%.  You need to realize you only have 100% of yourself to give.  So what does this mean?  We have many hardworking women trying to “do it all” that will eventually succumb to burnout and depression.  Only having 100% to give means you are not going to be the best.  At anything.  If you give 60% to your kids, you have 40% remaining for all other categories.  This includes work, husband, friends, God, housekeeping, and so on and so forth.  Set realistic goals.

Step 2: Don’t give up.  Taking a conscious rest is one thing, giving up is a surefire path to depression.  When faced with an overwhelming task, ask yourself this: how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.  Once you accept there is only 100% of you, it gets easier to prioritize and push through seemingly impossible tasks.

Step 3: Love what you do.  I hated doing laundry.  For 10 years it caused me stress and anxiety.  Until I learned to fold like Marie Kondo.  I enjoy seeing those neat little squares all tucked away in drawers.  Finding ways to make even tedious tasks enjoyable is key to ensuring they won’t build up and cause undue stress.

Step 5: When all else fails, create a reward system for yourself.  For example, if I finish matching all the socks I get to eat an m&m.  If all the playroom toys are picked up, I let myself check my email.  Find what motivates you to succeed and use repetition to make it a habit.

“Letting it all go” isn’t the answer, nor should you consistently attempt to attain an idealistic goal that isn’t within your grasp.  However, recognize that you can succeed in most areas most days with proper motivation, realistic goals, and crystal clear expectations.