You're a multitasker extraordinaire. You embody the woman described in that classic perfume jingle and can indeed, "bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan." And your juggling techniques alone -- baby on the hip, phone under the chin while cooking an egg on the skillet with your free hand -- could easily land you a gig in the circus. Yet while you put on a brave face and act the part of a Super Mama who can handle anything, inside you feel frazzled, overwhelmed and far from your comfort zone. Moms like you are in serious danger of doing too much! So, before you run out of steam both physically and emotionally, take some serious "Me Time" to recharge your energy and gain some perspective on your life. That's where Cheryl Richardson, author of Stand Up for Your Life, can help. She offers practical advice that can help all moms (even those intent on keeping up with their breakneck pace of multi-tasking) to keep going, smile and really mean it!
- Schedule an afternoon once a week that's just for you -- and get out of the house. All moms need to evaluate their lives from an emotional perspective, and sometimes you need to be alone in your own space in order to do so.
- Get a good babysitter. You can also alternate babysitting duties with your friends. In fact, if you have kids that are the same age, you'll get both an afternoon for yourself and a play date for your child.
- Identify at least five tasks that drain your energy -- and eliminate them from your routine. If it's cleaning the house, think about getting a housekeeper to come in once a month to do the heavy cleaning. Paying someone to clean your house is equal to the cost of two people going to dinner and a movie.
- Give yourself permission to say "no." If you're too over-extended with volunteer activities, give some of them up. You have to get good at disappointing people if you want to live a sane life.
- Embrace your guilt. Guilt is good. Most women never face the feeling. You need to learn to sit with the feeling until it loses its power and you realize that it's not going to kill you. And whenever you start to feel guilty, just smile and know that you're doing something good for yourself.
- Make a list of 10 things that give you energy. Anything goes: playing with your daughter in the backyard, reading a good novel, painting your nails, listening to great music. Too often moms see these tasks as indulgences, but you should recognize that they're really the fuel that gets you through the day.