From busy and bitter to boundaries and bliss By Sarah Stokes, Founder of The Juicy Good Life, Owner of STOKES|HERZOG Marketing+Consulting
We’ve all been there. Friday night comes after a full-throttle week at work, and you can’t wait to dive head first into that delicious weekend. You have visions of sleeping in, great breakfasts, joyful children, and moments to yourself.
Then it’s Sunday night.
You look back over your blur of a weekend and think, “What the heck happened?” Perhaps you’re folding socks like a madwoman, or elbow-deep in your kids’ dirty goldfish tank and, you’ve had it up to your eyeballs with the home grind.
I speak from experience. Before kids and business, I had no idea how my weekends would change. I used to have a spotless home by 6 p.m. on Sunday and could sit down and eat a beautiful meal with my hubby, then settle in for some good TV we actually wanted to watch. Then, I birthed two babies and three businesses!
So after a few years (ok, nearly four years) of stretching myself way too thin, procrastinating, being a bit of a martyr, and bickering with my husband about how busy I was, I finally turned it around.
I figured out the areas of my life that were not juicy. I got a permission slip from my life coach to stop being a martyr and start dipping my toes in the water of getting helpers. With growing toddlers and growing businesses, my hopes of being superwoman were not only unsustainable, they were creating piles of dirty laundry and resentment in our home. I finally asked a babysitter for extra folding help and that was so wonderful, then I was brave enough to find a cleaning helper, too.
Fast forward to today and I’ve not only dipped my toes in the waters of getting help, I now swan dive into the full acceptance of it! We’ve graduated from folding and twice-a-month cleaning help to now twice-a-week cleaning and laundry help and an assistant to do all the other errand running that had me running ragged.
It’s so juicy.
I had to drop the old internal programming that said, “You shouldn’t need this much help, you only have a one-story house and two kids.” I needed to shut off the voice that tells me stories of how I can probably do better with my time management, or that I should this or should that. We are really hard on ourselves sometimes. Some of the stuff that comes up in our internal dialogue is overly harsh and we’d never let someone talk to our kids like that, so why do we do it to ourselves?
Today, this is your permission slip to get help.
That help will translate into more free time on the weekends. Have your helpers come during the week, so you can transition into a less stressful situation on Saturday and Sunday! Where are you feeling the resentment build on the weekends? What do you wish you would have done when Sunday night rolls around? It’s time to build a weekend that recharges you.
Here are three easy steps to make it happen:
1. Decide what is juicy to you.
Sometimes this is the hardest thing for us to do. Maybe it’s a nap, maybe it’s a date night, maybe it’s a full day of pajamas. Don’t judge it, just write down your vision of a juicy good weekend.
2. Communicate your plan.
Our loved ones want us to be happy. They really do. If we’ve led a life of putting everyone else first, this may take some heartfelt discussion. Let your family know you are designing a life you love, and that goes for not only their wellbeing, but yours, too. Let them know you’re creating a wonderful weekend strategy and here’s what’s on the docket. Of course you have to integrate the soccer tournament, or your nephew’s birthday party, but make sure some of your wishes make the schedule. Then, you’ll be able to do this as a family! Now, on Friday nights at the latest, my husband and I talk about our weekend expectations, so we are on the same page. If we need a babysitter, we’ll get one. If I need him to take the kids to the park for a couple of hours so I can have quiet, we’ll work that out. If he wants to shop and I want to be at the lake fishing, then we compromise.
3. Do the juicy things.
This is the most important step! You have to actually do the things you want to do. How many times have we sat down with our coffee to dig into that book, then “poof!” You’ve reheated your coffee six times and you have no idea where those last few hours went. We are really good at giving our time away. This doesn’t mean ignoring our children or spouse. Your juiciness is going to be sprinkled over your weekend, but it’s better than drowning in overwhelm.
Do the juicy things. It will transform you from busy and bitter to boundaries and bliss!
Sarah Stokes and her husband Chris Herzog, who are both former WEAU television news anchors, started STOKES|HERZOG, an advertising and public relations agency in 2014. The agency assists both local and global clients with all of their corporate business consulting, advertising, public relations, and marketing needs including video production, website management, graphic design, social media management, and overall marketing.