I was talking to a mom that was completely overwhelmed and was almost in tears with all of the demands she had in her life.
She wanted some relief because she hadn’t had a break for weeks. Then after she realized that she was the only one talking, she asked me about what I do for work and what the kids are into.
After telling her that I work full time, I’m a reservist in the Navy, run Real Happy Mom, and started a business with my husband, she looked at me like a unicorn and asked me how I do it all.
The truth is … I don’t. In this episode, I brought my friend, Alicia Cohen, to share how doing it all is robbing us of freedom and happiness. Plus, how we can shift out of doing it all.
Episode Summary with Timestamps
1:40 Doing it all is not real.
3:28 Stop trying to be the one person who does it all.
5:06 What’s the real question you’re asking when you ask how is she doing it all?
7:00 When we say, “how does she do it all?” what we’re really asking is, “how do I do what she’s doing?”
9:25 How do we do what matters to us?
11:10 Getting the help and support that you need.
12:51 How to get help without spending money on a nanny.
Alicia Cohen is a wife and homeschooling mom. She is also a business owner and blogger. Through her business, Alicia Cohen Designs, she teaches busy moms intentional planning, effective productivity, and essential mindset shifts to increase peace, calm, and confidence while focusing on what matters most. Alicia built her business based on her own journey of overcoming her overwhelmed and frazzled life — what she calls the “hamster wheel marathon” — and now teaches other women the methods she discovered (and uses personally).
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Alicia’s free workshop — The Only To-Do List System You Need to Get Your Busy Life Under Control TODAY!: bit.ly/realhappymomshow
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Transcript of this Episode
I was out with my kids and struck up a conversation with another mom asked her how she was doing. And immediately I felt like her therapist because she began to unload to me all the things she was doing. She had each of her kids in some type of extracurricular activity. She was involved in multiple ministries at our church, her job was demanding, and she was in the middle of remodeling her kitchen. Needless to say, she was overwhelmed and almost in tears, just telling me everything that she had going on. And I could see that she wanted some relief, because she hadn’t taken a break in weeks, from all of the demands that she had in her life. Then after she realized that she was the only one talking, she asked me about what I do for work and what I had my kids into. I told her how I worked full time, and I’m a reservist in the Navy. And then I have real happy mom and another business, I’m starting with my husband. And she looked at me like I was some type of unicorn and asked me, How do you do it all. And the truth is, I don’t. And in this episode, I brought my friend Alicia to share how doing it all, is robbing us of our freedom and our happiness, plus how we can shift out of doing it. I’m Toni-Ann. I’m a working moms just like you and I created this podcast for busy working moms who need help with time management and achieving their big goals without pulling their hair out. And through the episodes on this podcast, you’ll learn how to manage your time, take care of yourself in your family. So you can be your best at work and at home, all while accomplishing your big dreams without feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. And today, my guest is Alicia, and she will share with you how you can stop doing it all. So you can have more peace in your life. I am Alicia Cohen, the owner of Alicia Cohen designs, where I teach busy moms intentional planning, effective productivity and important mindset shifts. So that you can create more peace, calm and confidence in your life, all while focusing on what matters most. So doing it seems like a badge of honor. But in reality, it is impossible for us to do it all. So why is that? The first thing I want to say is have you even considered like have you stopped to take a moment that doing it all isn’t actually real, it’s not actually possible. It’s not real life, it’s an illusion, it’s important to reject this idea of doing it all. Because we can’t write It’s literally impossible, you can’t literally do it all because all means everything. And when we say doing it all, I think we kind of just throw it out there in this very casual kind of commonplace sort of way that this is how, how we talk in our society, but it’s not real. And as I always like to talk about the semantics matter what we say the word choice, you know, how we talk, it matters, how we talk to ourselves, how we talk to others, it matters. And, and thinking about and talking about doing it all. That’s one of those things where it matters. We don’t want to communicate to ourselves that somehow that’s what we’re striving for, or somehow that’s normal, or somehow that’s real. Like, let’s get away from that. Let’s get away from trying to do it all. Because like I said, All is everything. And it’s that’s just not possible. That’s just not real. And I think it’s the kind of thing where we think it’s real because of social media, and everyone can just post their perfect lives. And so it appears like people are doing it all but they’re not. It’s not true. Doing it all is impossible. And it is an illusion. And if it’s the kind of thing where you’re like, No, I’m going to be the one person. All right, go ahead and try. But But how’s that working for you? Aren’t you feeling free? Are you feeling good and calm and happy? Or is that maybe feeling kind of like some sort of hamster wheel rat race, that is not the life you want to be living? It’s easy to see Betty Sue down the street or on Instagram and feel like she is doing it all? Or has it all together. But the first step is to stop comparing ourselves and get out of that doing it all mindset. But how do we even start to shift our mindset out of doing it all? Now, like what you were saying about, you know, stop, stop trying to be Betty Sue down the street, because if you see Betty Sue on social media, you just see what she wants you to see. Right? You don’t you don’t see everything. And even if Betty Sue happens to be the type of person who sometimes posts the real life stuff, or the messy stuff or whatever, but you still don’t know what support she has or doesn’t have. So we don’t know all of the ins and outs of their lives. And so it’s not it’s not fair to ourselves to even start to go there. Right. You know, because we asked like the question, well, how does she do it? All right, I I see her you know, Betty Sue down the street, Betty Sue on social media, whatever. And if your name is Betty Sue, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Betty. Betty Sue I sending you a hug. And this is nothing personal against you. So we’ll just say, lady, or anyway. So when we asked like, well, how does she do it? All? Right, I want us to take a second. And have you ever considered well, what’s the real question that you’re asking? When you ask? How is she doing it all? Have you ever thought about that? Because I think that’s a really cool thing to think about, actually. Because if we stop, and we think about the phrase doing it all, well, as we already talked about all is everything. Right? And we already know, that’s not happening. That’s not real life. And when we look at the it, what doing it all? What’s the it? Think about that? When you see her doing it all? What What is she doing? What is she doing that you are interested in? And the doing part of doing it all? Well, what I like to say there as well, who is doing the doing? Is she really doing it all? Or does she have help? And how much help does she have? Because you might be comparing you’re doing of like, oh, man working? And I’m just I’m trying to get a meal on the table after work, trying to get the kids off to school, whatever? Well, but maybe does she have a meal delivery service? And maybe does she have a you know, an assistant at her work? Or maybe does she have a nanny, you know, so and you don’t or you know, you got to you got to think about well, who is doing the doing? And so then when we start to think about those things, and we really break down the phrase doing it all, and we think about the words and then we think back to well, what’s the real question we’re asking? Let’s go back to the it. What is the it has the it matters? Because I don’t think we really are asking to do it all. We’re asking to do that it that we see her doing that we wish we were doing. And so when we say Ah, how does she do at all? When we’re asking that question, what we’re really asking is how do I do what she’s doing? I want to be doing what I see her doing? Like I wish I was doing what she’s doing, I see something that she’s doing that I want, I value I desire, whatever it is, whatever that it is that we see in the other person. Well, what is that? And then the question is, how do I do what she’s doing? But really, then the question becomes, how do I do what I want? I see her doing something, but how do I do what I want and maybe what I want is being poked. rigored, inspired, whatever it is by what I see her doing. But how do I do what I want? How do I do what I desire? How do I create my life in a way that feels amazing? Because oftentimes when we look at her, and we say, Ah, how does she do it all? I don’t know how she does it all. We probably don’t really want to do everything she’s doing. I mean maybe or maybe they’re like that maybe there’s a particular something or multiple something’s that she’s doing that we wish that we were doing. But if we just really stop and say well, how do I create my her life looks so amazing. Right? How do I create my life? In a way that feels amazing to me? And how do we take that debunked all because we know she’s not doing it? All right, we talked about that she’s not literally doing it all. That’s impossible. All is everything can’t do that. If we get clear on it, that we see her doing that we wish we were doing. And then we can take a look at the actual doing like well, okay, so I want to create this life for myself. That feels amazing, and that I love living and I see something in her that’s kind of making me realize that I’m not where I want to be. Well, then how are we going to do the doing so that we are doing ourselves? What is best served by our time, our energy, our talents, and then can delegate the rest to you know, whatever, if you can do a nanny meal delivery service, spouse, partner, kids, friends, family, you know, whomever it is, that can help do the doing so that you’re freed up to do what matters. So you are creating that life well then, we don’t really need to ask that question. In so much, how does she do it all? Because it doesn’t matter. It really only stings. When we’re not doing what it is that we wish we were doing, or we want to be doing. And that that really matters, because then it’s not about doing it all. It’s about doing, what matters to you and what feels amazing to you. And the good news there is, okay, now we have a place to go, because now we’re not using this general big pie in the sky kind of doing it all question to try to inform our lives. And that leaves us feeling maybe less than leaves us feeling wanting and leaves us feeling, oh, maybe even insecure, I don’t know, right? When we, when we break it down in this way, we can actually just leave that doing it all question behind and actually start to do what matters to us and take steps in that direction. And that’s exciting, because then that can actually lead us to a place where we want to be and where life feels amazing. But the big one that I know, at least for me, and for the moms that I talked to, is getting the help and support that we need. So I didn’t know if you had any like tips or any thing in particular to help with that particular aspect. Yeah, so getting the help and support that we need. So I don’t want to downplay that it takes money, or it takes the willingness to ask for help. Right? These are all things that I know, various people listening out there will struggle with to various degrees, right? So if the money thing is an issue, well, how can you get creative, right? There’s still ways to get help. Even if you don’t have the money for a meal delivery service, a house cleaner, a dog walker, a virtual assistant, a nanny, babysitter, whatever it is for you, right? All those things, they cost money, and some of them cost quite a lot of money. Right? So the what do we do? Get creative, right? So how can we do bartering trading? I know my my mom actually talked about when I was a kid. Because I said, I said to my mom, I said, Mom, how did you get a babysitter? How did you do that? When I was a kid? And she said, Oh, well, there was a playgroup in the neighborhood. And we made these coupons. And we all had a certain number of coupons, and when you needed a babysitter, so you could go out for a doctor’s appointment, or even you want to go out for a date night in the evening, or you know, after work or whatever. Well, you use one of your coupons, and you give it to one of the friends in the circle. And you give away one of your coupons. Well, now, if everyone started with two coupons, now she has three coupons, and you have one, and she can cash in that coupon. Right. And so there’s no money there. You’re not paying each other for babysitting. But you’re getting help, you know, and you’ve got these coupons, right? So there’s, there’s a way to, you know, get some get some help in that sort of way, without spending money on a nanny or babysitter. So it’s just the kind of thing where can you can you get creative, you could do the same thing. Maybe you get together some friends. Maybe you all batch cook a particular meal. And you say, Okay, well, we’re gonna and we’re gonna trade, right? And maybe you all make freezer meals, or whatever it is. And then you all trade. And you do you know, batch, batch cooking batch grocery shopping, and it saves you time, and then you get six different meals, and you’ve traded. And yeah, it costs money to buy the food, but you needed to buy the food anyway and you still got six meals out of it. It’s not like you’re donating the meals and not getting that money. So things like that. Right? So if money is tricky, or preventing you or can you look at your budget and see about what needs to be reallocated or done differently to, to put money into something that you really care about, or something that you really need or would really help. So one way that we can begin to stop doing it is to get the help that we need. But how do we even start if we have a hard time asking for help, or if we need help, but it’s going to cost a lot of time and money which we don’t have if the thing is right really just that you have trouble asking for help? And that’s hard. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to ask for help. And I would say, Well, can you make a choice between asking for help? And, and, you know, the difficulty that maybe comes with that and your sanity, because that’s really what you’re choosing between if you’re kind of being too proud, or too or it’s too vulnerable, or whatever it is for you to ask for help. Can you keep in mind that what you’re giving up and you’re sacrificing is your sanity? And how is that for you? Do you care more about your sanity? Or do you care more about kind of go into that vulnerable place and asking for help, and only you can make that choice. But I would say it’s more important to choose your sanity. And to kind of humble yourself a bit and ask for that help. Or if it’s not even asking for help from family and friends, maybe it’s less humbling, or maybe you know, maybe you feel better about just asking for help in the form of paying for something, you get, get some sort of meal delivery service, where it’s super easy to cook dinner, or get a house cleaner, or get a dog walker, or whatever it is, that helps you. So these are just some I know, these are some of the roadblocks that people can come up against. But ultimately, what it comes down to, is you’ve got your time, and your money. And either one, one or the other, right, you’re either going to be spending more time on stuff, more money on stuff or doing some combination of the two. But you’ve only got so much energy and effort. And so if you don’t want that to just get completely depleted all the time, it is going to be important to look at how and where and when you’re spending your time on these different things that you’re trying to get accomplished. And how and where and when you’re spending your money on these different things that you’re trying to get accomplished. Yes, no, you definitely gave some really good ways. Some things even just think about. And I love how you were saying like, yeah, it’s between like asking for help and your sanity. And one thing that I think will save mom’s sanity, especially if you’re listening, I think is your workshop, at least I think your workshop would really help with, with saving your sanity and helping to kind of get out of, you know, this whole thing of trying to do it all, and maybe even see how you can like start to delegate or eliminate something as well. So I wanted to share with us a little bit about your workshop in a what it’s about in who it’s for, and all that good stuff. Yeah, so my workshop is called the only to do list system, you need to get your busy life under control today. So talking about, you know, sanity talking about letting go of maybe what needs to be delegated or outsourced, or whatever it is. If that’s something that resonates with you, this system that I teach in the Workshop will help you get there because in the workshop, we’re going to take a look at some common to do list strategies or techniques that people use that don’t really work. What works instead, what’s good to do. And by doing these, you know, looking at what doesn’t work, looking at what does work, and then I teach you how to set up a priority based to do list management system. And when you start working on that priority muscle, you’re gonna get good at looking at, well, what do I need to do for my sanity? What do I need to let go of what do I need to delegate, and it’ll start to over time, become clearer and clearer. So in the workshop, I’m going to teach you two modules, straight out of my power up your productivity program, which is my self study program that teaches you my whole intentional planning and effective productivity methods, the whole kit and caboodle, you’ll get two modules out of that entire method. And you’ll get to experience that when we talk about you know, doing it all, when you have this priority based system in place. It really helps you see what’s what. And like, we were talking about what stays what goes so it just, it’s a good place to start. So if you’re like, Okay, I want some steps like what do I do next? Then check out my workshop, and it’ll start getting you down a path where you can really start to make some good gains and get some good results in your life. So there you have it. Now you know all the steps to take to get out of that doing it all mindset. Now definitely take advantage of the workshop that Alicia has. You can find the link in the show notes by going over to Real happy mom.com/ 201 And definitely stay tuned for next week for another full episode take care and with lots of love