Our Secrets

As the title of this blog suggests, women…well, get shit done.  The question we all have is how? No matter how much shit we get done, we women tend to compare ourselves to the woman next to us. We see her Pinterest perfect lunches and handmade Christmas gifts and deem ourselves as not getting enough shit done.  Or the working mom who still manages to make all the PTA meetings or the stay at home mom who manages all the kids and her house still always looks put together, etc. The reality is THOSE women are looking at other women (maybe even us!) and wondering how we manage to get the promotion, how we managed to teach our 3-year-old how to count to 20 in Spanish, etc.   We women then start asking ourselves and other women “How does SHE do it?” The secret here is that the SHE in question is asking that same question about another woman. What I have found is, women get shit done because they must. Who else is going to get it done? For you fellas reading this blog, we love you and appreciate you and we know you get shit done, too. You just get it done differently and, this blog is about women so that’s where I am going to focus my attention.  You are appreciated!

Here are this one woman’s tips for getting shit done.

  1. Prioritize: Just like any other thing, we must prioritize. What is truly important to us? Recovery? Emotional Health? Finances? Time with kids? Whatever the priority is, set it.  And stick to it. Priorities can change over time, so make sure you are doing a quick check from time to time to make sure your priorities are still priorities for you.  Me? I’m the breadwinner, so work is a priority, or my bills don’t get paid. Then it’s time with my husband and child. What that looks like? My house is usually a wreck, we have simple and quick meals and we stick to a schedule that means my husband and I occasionally get some time together. There are no bento boxes, fancy dinners or lunches.  We are frugal so that we can on occasion afford to do something together outside of our house. My priorities are not a spic and span house (ha ha!) or fancy three course dinners (or even fancy one course dinners), or even making sure I hit the gym each week. It’s being with my husband and child, whatever that looks like. 5 years ago? It was the gym, a clean house, fancy baked goods (I have never been a fan of cooking, baking? That was my jam!)  and time with my new husband. But five years later, I have a toddler, three dogs and other priorities. I suspect that one day when my child is ignoring me because moms are embarrassing, I’ll go back to those priorities or will have developed some new ones.

2. Self-Care: This is a huge buzzword these days.  Self-care isn’t what we hear on TV, it’s not mani/pedis, spa days, or delicious desserts, even if those all sound awesome. It’s getting enough sleep, drinking enough water (seriously there is a limit to how much caffeine one should consume daily), working out, spending time with family and friends, things that fill our emotional tank.  So, make sure that somewhere in that list of priorities (because what isn’t important, really?) is YOU. That includes getting to bed on time, making sure one day a week you have time for more than a 5-minute shower, listening to an audiobook on your ride home, you get to your AA/NA meeting, you get 10 minutes to journal, whatever you need to feel connected to you. Make sure that you have those things for your physical health, emotional health and mental health.  We can’t support and recharge others, without making sure our tank is full. We fill our tank with self-care. We can’t get shit done, without us.

3. Boundaries: Know them, set them, enforce them.  No, we don’t have to volunteer for the Christmas Party at school. No, we don’t have to volunteer for the OT shift. No, we don’t have to have dinner with our in-laws. NO. NO. NO.  Learn to say no and be okay with it. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for no either. “Hey Jen, want go to dinner?” “No, thank you.” BOOM DONE! Yes, someone will ask you why and you are under no obligation to share your plans or lie and pretend you have plans. A simple no will suffice. Volunteered for the bake sale? Great! You can make the 10-minute cake cookies (or buy some cookies) instead of making Nana’s extra special recipe that takes 3 hours to prep.  Know your boundaries! Know that your family comes first means no extra shifts and your boss will deal. Know that if you need to get three work outs a week in to feel comfortable then you leave on time three days to get to the gym. Know that if you need to get this work project done, that you can go to the library or shut your door and focus. If you need to make sure you have a home cooked meal most nights to feel centered and connected to your family, do it, no regrets. “No” lets us focus on our real priorities.

4. ASK FOR HELP!  This is probably the hardest one for we women to accept and implement. It’s okay to ask for help.  I’m not sure when/where it happened but suddenly, we ladies are expected to do it all. And to do it all by our damn selves.  NO! Ask for help. Ask your partner to make dinner so you can go to the gym, ask your co-worker to take the late shift and you can take the early shift (Your kid isn’t sleeping anyway!)  Call your best friend up and ask her to make some cookies for the bake sale so you can sleep (she IS a pastry chef!). ASK FOR HELP! You can’t do it alone, you shouldn’t do it alone.

You see a woman who gets shit done? She does these things, she has her priority list, she knows she must make sure her tank is full or none of the priorities are getting done, she is setting and sticking to those boundaries and she for damn sure delegates or asks for help to make sure she can focus on the important things.   No way can she focus on making sure those employees are getting paid, if she is worried about how to make 48 cookies by tomorrow. No, she orders the cookies and gets back to work and does not give a shit that she phoned that in, because well…she has shit to do.


Unraveling the Cycle of Survival