Lately I’ve been noticing several 80/20 ideas to apply to our personal and professional lives.
My (online and free) exercise trainer says that fitness and good health equates to 80% of what you eat and 20% exercise. Annapolis’s own Lisa Ryan of Whole Health Designs believes in the guideline of, “80% of the time you eat clean, move your body, practice gratitude; you do what makes you feel amazing. The other 20%, you drink wine with your girlfriends, eat pizza at the birthday party, skip a workout…all without guilt.” I’m a real estate agent and our Keller Williams brokerage believes in the theory that 20% of your effort will account for 80% of your results. There are 80/20 mortgages, 80/20 diet plans so why shouldn’t there be an 80/20 outlook to motherhood?
I believe that we should stop making women, in particular, mothers stop feeling like they need to have it all, all the time. We need to stop feeling like we need to be 100% on top of everything, 100% of the time. We need to take down the pressure and unrealistic idea of perfection. I say we go for good enough instead of feeling like we will never be enough. I say we embrace the chaos and the messy floors. I say we go for that 80% of what is really good and 20% letting go of what isn’t.
Motherhood rarely makes you feel like you are having a 100% day. 80/20 is 100% more accurate. 80% joy, 20% challenges. 80% hugs, 20% eye rolls. 80% target, 20% meltdowns at target. 80% glorious pool time, 20% sunscreen and hearing “mom watch this.” 80% eating at home, 20% fast food on the run. 80% adventure, 20% are we there yet. 80% winning, 20% failing. 80% carefree summer afternoons, 20% winter Monday mornings. 80% Disney and 20% Fight Club. 80% I remembered! 20% I completely forgot. 80% I love you mom. 20% I don’t like you mom. 80% cheering on your child, 20% ubering them. 80% Instagram worthy moments, 20% laundry. 80% amazing, 20% exhausting.
If we focus on that 80%, 80% of the time, than we will be okay. We will remember that we are enough. We will be falling asleep (most likely in our child’s bed) happy and grateful. The truth of it all though is that some days are 110% days. Some days are pure magical bliss. The vacation days and mothers days and the Christmas mornings of it all. Those days where no one fights and there are no time outs and you don’t have to raise your voice or pull the car over and you are so happy and whole. You wish you could bottle them. You feel like you do have it all. Those days feel priceless and fleeting. And then there are days that are in the 8-12% range. The really hard painful ones. The yelling days. The drowning days. The days when everything spills and all just feels off. The endless tears type of days. Thankfully these days are also rare and typically break down more in to moments, fleeting moments. We know that tomorrow is another chance to strive to be 80%. And we still know that we do still have it all, just not all at the same time.
I think when older women smile at us and tell us to enjoy it because they grow up too fast, they are remembering the 80%. That is now their 100%. As it should be. The hard becomes a blur and the great and the priceless prevail in our memories. The getting by and the being good enough do result in the good life.
What you must remember is that you are 100% the person chosen to be enough to raise your children. You are enough. Always have been, always will be. And should you ever need the reminder, that’s where the 20% pizza and wine with girlfriends really comes in handy.
Katie’s essay and tangent collection about motherhood, life and imperfection, Happy Broken Crayons is available on Amazon now. Thank you for reading. You are the (queen) bees knees. Happy happy holidays and happy happy new year to you. In setting your hopes for 2018, please think about your word. I can’t wait to hear it. Xoxo
To read more blogs by Katie Moore click here.
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.