So, what do you do when you realize you are in a constant mode of survival? Whenever someone would ask me “how are you?” I used to almost always say “surviving” with a chuckle. The truth is that it most definitely felt like that, especially in those early months.
Life is busy, you are trying to do all things all the time and you feel like everyone is literally watching you to see whether you “survive” this.
Examples on how we display being in survival mode
- navigating sleep cycles
- kid routine changes
- having the house all tidy and meals figured out
- bathing all the kids
- getting there on time
- not falling asleep within 15 minutes if getting there
- making it through meetings
Being in survival mode means you are on the go all the time, trying to simply make it to tomorrow. That usually entails a lengthy to do list you are working through to then repeat another to do list the next day. You are literally trying to not have a breakdown while making it to another day. In the process you can’t keep up with time and your energy is slowly depleting.
The problem with being in survival mode as a working mom
There’s just one huge problem when we succumb to daily survival which is that we barely leave any room to just live.
To live means to truly be 150% in the moment in both body and mind. When surveying and chatting with moms this was one of the common responses, “it goes so fast” and “I wish I would have slowed down.” It’s like we stay wishing we can spend more time on the little things but don’t match our behaviors to our desires.
But the truth is that we have to ability to take part in life where we truly LIVE not just SURVIVE. When we do that, we shift our mindset to be one of enjoyment and excitement vs. exhaustion and overwhelm. We need to choose this way instead, and then plan our actions to really nurture that desire we want to manifest.
It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
Check out these other blog posts after this one:
- How to achieve work life balance step #1 – Self Care
- How to achieve work life balance step #2 – Productivity
- How to achieve work life balance step #3 – Accept Support
Here are some examples of ways you can just LIVE
- Remove technology when engaging with your kids
- Dedicate a full day weekly or biweekly for your kids
- Fully dive into work projects, network events etc. during the hours you set for work (don’t worry your kids will be there waiting for you after)
- Take away the big o’ to do lists and instead create small intentional priority lists so you can time block more for the things that matter to you most
To get to a point of LIVING, you will need to actively work on your mindset as to push away anything that tries to get in the way. That includes being more optimistic (language used and shared). A great activity is for every negative thought that you verbalize, you have to say two positive thoughts in return.
For example: How was your day? Ugh terrible from the moment I woke up with a headache and kids screaming. But my kids are healthy and I made a nice dinner for the family that everyone enjoyed.
So what is the big takeaway about survival mode?
We often make motherhood seem like something very negative, and un-recommendable to other folks thinking about having kids. And while yes, we have loads to do when it comes to society/ government giving working parents the recognition (and time) to parent, there is so much that is beautiful in that journey.
So how do we shift that narrative because it can be enjoyable, it is precious, and you don’t have to be in survival mode all the time. Being in this constant state of survival is what creates burnout and bad habits.
>> I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are you in a constant state of survival? Share in the comments,