February 18, 2016

Something’s Gotta Give

I don’t have a baby book for Carter. I have all of his doctor records, hospital handprints, and a little journal where I jot down his progress every now and then, but I don’t have a baby book. I thought...

Something's Gotta Give

I don’t have a baby book for Carter. I have all of his doctor records, hospital handprints, and a little journal where I jot down his progress every now and then, but I don’t have a baby book. I thought I would start one on my maternity leave, and I didn’t.

I also never took him to a pumpkin patch this past fall. We didn’t even buy a pumpkin for our house last year. I don’t know why, but I really was so excited to take him to a pumpkin patch. Fall is my favorite season, and I also feel like the obligatory pumpkin patch baby picture is an absolute necessity in motherhood. But I didn’t do it.

There have been a lot of things that “good mothers” do that I haven’t done.

But when your time, money and energy are finite, something’s gotta give.

You physically cannot do it all—not all of the brilliant ideas on Pinterest and Facebook, not all of the things your friends are doing for their kids, and not even all of the things you want to do! You’re always going to have to make choices. The reality is that I gave up some things so that I could do other things.

Instead of giving in to the mom-guilt and dragging around that heavy shame, I’m going to remind myself of what I have done.

During my maternity leave, I didn’t make a baby book for Carter. Instead I trained for a marathon in order to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. And exactly 12 weeks after having an emergency C-section, I crossed the finish line for a half-marathon in under two hours. That is a choice I made that I’m not only okay with, it’s one that I’m proud of.

In October, I didn’t take Carter to a pumpkin patch. But what I did do was travel all over the country, speaking and teaching and letting God use me to change lives through my work. On some of those trips, I even brought my son with me and allowed him to experience the world and see his mom work in her God-given gifts. That is something I’ll never apologize for or regret. He’s actually been to seven states and he’s a year old.

And of course in between all of that we’ve had plenty of park days, library days, play dates and other adventures all of which add up to a lot of important quality time.

What about you? Sure, there may be a long list of things that you feel like you’ve fallen short on in parenting or anything else in life. But friends, our time is and always will be finite. So something will always have to give.

Instead of focusing on all that you haven’t done, didn’t fit in, or didn’t get to, think about all that you have done. I bet in place of all of those things you feel like you “failed” on, there are shining examples of things you succeeded in. It’s just a matter of taking your eyes off of what you didn’t get to and focusing them on what you did do.

Because you know and I know, in the choices we make every day, something will always have to give.


For more on work-life balance, come see Christy Wright LIVE at her three-day Business Boutique event in Nashville this November 2-4!

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  • Sara says:

    I want you to know that this blog has been so inspirational for me. I recently celebrated 1 year back to work after having my daughter and taking 3 months off. I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish being a mother, wife, and employee. Your blog has helped me see the light that I can’t do it all. I say no, be mindful of my time, my goals, and I am “back” to my old self in my new routine doing less and being a more present person. Thank you!

  • DeAnn Davies says:

    I am an infant mental health practitioner and I love this! I spend more time telling moms and dads what they do right I order to support their successful parenting journey.

  • Cherie says:

    Great post! Sometimes it’s good to hear others say this instead of trying to convince yourself it’s ok!! I kind of started a baby book for my first child..number three is 10 months now and haven’t gotten the 1st one done?

  • Lisa says:

    I absolutely needed this today. I’m overwhelmed with a marriage that’s struggling, young kids to mother, a side business to run, and a blogging/writing career that I’m pursuing. I’ve been mulling what needs to give in order to get my family back on track and still be able to pursue my passions but it’s so hard to make that decision. This post was encouraging to know that I may not make it to every play date or record every milestone but there are plenty of things I do that matter too.

  • Anna says:

    Thank you Christy!!! 🙂 I always enjoy your writing, but this has got to be my favorite so far! 🙂 Thank you the great reminder to us all – we cannot do everything! And, that’s okay!! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    My mom started a baby book for my oldest daughter, and gave it to me to finish. It’s still sitting in a box in the basement, and my daughter just turned 16. I spent so many years with mom guilt feeling like I was failing my kids. Looking back, I must have done so much right because my kids are turning into amazing human beings. 🙂

  • Jesy says:

    an inspiring post that a male team member sent me, so happy that he did! I’ve missed preschool parties and have felt that mommy shame as well but turning that around, I am proud of my accomplishments and hope that I can be a good role model to my kids.

  • Lynn says:

    I’m the oldest of 3 children. Mom made a baby book for me and carefully placed papers in each section. She got a baby book for my sister, but it has the loose papers stuck between the pages. My brother has a shoe box with his important papers. My mother became smarter with each child and I hope to do the same for my children.

  • Allison says:

    Thank you for sharing this. With all of the guilt, judgment, and high expectations from myself and other moms this helps me feel better that the guilt and judgment is more in my head than other mothers. I am a mother of 4 children and while having my 4, I’ve been going back to school to get a Masters Degree, which I started when I only had 2, working part-time, volunteering with my children’s activities and just juggling the craziness of 4 kids in general. Often times I feel guilty that I haven’t put my children in more activities or I have all of 2 pages done in my oldest’s scrapbook, or I’ve done a disservice to my kids because I want to have my own accomplishments but this reassures me that I should be proud of what I’ve been able to do while still raising 4 great kids and not be guilty for the things I couldn’t do so thank you again.