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The Filter: Going from Doing it All to Doing a Lot

13 June 2014

Hey, did you know I have a baby? Ok, if you follow me on Instagram you most definitely know that's the case. I've been basically following my brain waves on writing about mommy and baby life on anything longer than a photo caption. I am pretty obsessed with the babe, but I've always liked sharing ideas here more than solely life updates. 

One idea that is new in Mom life and seems like a constant conversation is "Am I doing too much?" or "Am I not taking on and doing enough?" It also seems to be a mention in conversations when I'm with someone who knows that I have a baby, that I work and that I have some hobbies and groups that I'm involved in. 

I am the type of person where busy was always better for me, but my new life has taught me a lot about releasing myself from the glorification of busy. I have a new person in my life, but the same hours of the day as before. I want to be smart with how I use them so I can have the best parts of what I loved about my life before baby and lots of time for Miss Thing as well. Markus and I specifically didn't have a baby when we were first married because we wanted some time to say yes to everything - work projects, a house in need of love, travel and adventures. Sometimes we were just ships passing, which is fine with two adults. The new dynamic is different, which is perfect since we didn't have a baby to stay the same. All the things we did before are considered, but they pass through my fancy new process I call The Filter. 

The Work Thing

Before having a baby, I was really undecided on how this would all go down. Then Heidi arrived with such surprise that I really didn't have much time to think about it. I just kept doing what I was doing in terms of working, which made me realize it was a good thing for me. I loved thinking about problems and seeing people I know. I love my coworkers times one hundred thousand, so it is a huge benefit that I get to hang out with some of my favorite people every day while Heidi is happy at a great daycare just down the road.

One thing about working in marketing and events, is I'm out with people when they're out, which can mean evening and weekend events. I tend to work about four hours a week not in the traditional work week. The trick to these is they're scheduled in advance, so Markus and Heidi hang out and I get four hours to pick up my girl a little early or take her to story time at the mall. It's hard to break up the weekend like that sometimes, but the rewards during the week are really great for us. I am a huge believer in working smarter, not harder and as I've grown into my job I've been excited to do that with our work. We're doing better events in less time and grunt work for everyone, and most especially having a ton of fun. I am super appreciative of everyone I work with for knowing what I'm missing when we're out on the weekend (since they all have full lives and are making sacrifices too!), so we attack our projects in great moods and make it efficient. 

The other side of the coin of having weekend work projects, is I basically want every other hour when Heidi is awake to be hanging out together. I'm more motivated to get solo errands, workouts and friend time done during the week over lunch or in the early morning so I have lots of time for family on the weekend.

The rest of the hours and activities are when The Filter really come into play. We get a lot of great opportunities for socializing, service and hobbies during the week, and I had a really hard time at first deciding what was a yes and what was a not right now. I finally found enough pattern to figure out what is working best for me right now and it is making responding to things a lot easier!

The Filter: Impact on Me

Just like working makes me a better me and mom, there are a few things that just make me feel more like me right now. I am still loving my improv classes at Dallas Comedy House. They're one night a week, so Markus picks up Heidi from daycare those nights and does night time routine with her. I turn off my cell phone and get outside my head and laugh a ton for three hours. It is the best! I am always still a little sad to miss the bedtime show with Heidi before class, but I am always in an awesome mood when I leave. Since I am already missing one night a week with Heidi for this class, it makes me even pickier about taking on anything else on weekday evenings.

The Filter: Impact on Others

One of the biggest places where I've made changes is my volunteering and community involvement. This aspect of my life is more important to me than ever now that Heidi is here. I can't wait to teach her how fulfilling it is to give time and energy to other people. Dallas has a very social based philanthropy scene, and sometimes with involvement there can be more being instead of doing. I've been able to figure out that if I am away from Heidi, I want to DO. From experience working in non-profit and volunteering, there are charities that want to get you involved and make things happen and ones who want to put people around a board table so they can say they have involvement. It is so easy to sniff out. I am really happy that the boards I am on now after paring things down are great at involving their teams and working hard for their causes! It keeps me motivated and makes me really excited for board meetings and events. Should I go ahead and link to my favorite Dallas charity, Community Partners, right now? Ok, will do. :o)

Also on the note of involvement and doing, I love getting an invitation to something now where I know we'll be doing something. Gone are the days of happy hours and sitting behind a check-in desk to log hours. Projects where I can work hard and really feel like I make a difference is where it is right now.

My bottom line is, sitting between having a sense of individuality and soaking up every coo and giggle from a growing baby is a formula I'm still working to perfect. I'm unfortunately not getting any more hours, so I'm making the hours count. When I pick up Heidi, it's her and me and I try to focus as much as I can until bedtime. So far one of my favorite parts of our routine is bath time. It's impossible to be on your phone and have a baby splashing in the tub.


Mamas and Type As, I'd love to hear how you juggle the time for yourself and time with your loved ones! Or if you can let me know where those magic extra hours in the day are, that'd be great too. :o) 

3 comments:

  1. You seem to have struck a fantastic balance that works for you and your family, and that's what matters most! :)

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  2. What a great post -- even if you didn't pick my fav charity as your own -- I love how you described working with people who are positive. It really does make thing more efficient and fun! I'd never thought about it, so thanks for a new way to embrace positivity.

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  3. I love that you are actively seeking how to find balance between working and mom-ing. I don't think any one can truly appreciate the agony moms go through when trying to decide between working full time or being a full time mom. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do both. Some times you have to let someone else be in control...whether that be at a day care or at work. I love the passion you have for volunteering and philanthropy. We have that in common. I tend to say "yes" way too much. When I find myself in a place where I've taken on too much I have to force myself to let go of a commitment and trust that someone else just as caring will take up where I left off. One of the most important lessons I've learned is that husbands need a lot of attention too. They can get lost in the shuffle and feel like they are last in line when it comes to your attention/affections. Make it a priority to have time for just the two of you.

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