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You see all the glossy Instagram photos right? I'm talking about the truth behind having two jobs (plus what helps me make it through busy days from comfortable boots to a shared calendar).
Thank you to Zappos for sponsoring this conversation.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room. This blog? Instagram with all it's pretty and fun photos? Takes time and organization. So I have two jobs (each of which I spend about 40 hours a week on) – blogging and teaching. Add in being a mom, a wife and sleeping……and there isn't exactly a lot of down time. Now before you get the wrong idea, this is NOT a complaining about my schedule blog post. In fact, it's just the opposite. This blog has allowed me to connect with amazing friends I would never have met otherwise, given us the opportunity to have some amazing adventures (like our Disney Aulani trip or our Disney Cruise), encouraged me to explore body positivity, and even to wear a bathing suit on camera. I've always run on the higher energy, happier when I'm busy side. I enjoy having a creative outlet that I love and building a community that inspires me here, and I love teaching. My days and my heart are FULL. But so is my schedule.
I've gotten a LOT of questions lately about how to balance it all. It's one of the reasons I've started to share my daily schedule on Instagram. Because I think it's important to be honest and transparent about the truth behind what you see in pretty, glossy Instagram photos. Do I do it all? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Do I do the things that are most important to me? Yes I do. There are days that my meticulously planned schedule goes off without a hitch, and then there are days when one thing goes awry and it's a total disaster. From photo shoots for blog content to launch events to play dates with Lydia's friends and finding time to exercise, it often feels like a challenge puzzle that's missing a piece or two. I'm definitely not a master of perfect balance (by a LONG shot)…..but I wanted to share a few things that have helped me immensely in the last few years since becoming a mom. You may not be a blogger, but I can pretty much guarantee you have more than one job (us women are master multitaskers). And YES, being a Mom is a JOB. A pretty important one. That counts.
A Day in My Comfortable Boots: Tips to Balance a Busy Schedule
Prioritize: The truth is, you simply can't do everything. No one can. Look, I'm not a great cook. We eat the SAME dinners a lot. Pasta. Grilled Sausages. You're not getting fancy gourmet meals in the Anderson household. But we do all eat. Mostly things that take 20 minutes or less to prepare. And I don't feel bad about it. It's simply not my priority.
It Takes a Village: I certainly can't do it all alone. About a year ago when Robbie was in graduate school and working full time I broke down in tears one night talking about how tired and overwhelmed I felt. Lydia is a VERY calm, even tempered kid…..but I just felt like between school and mom life….I was around kids CONSTANTLY and it was a lot of emotional output. What did I do? Robbie couldn't change his graduate school schedule. So we hired HELP. Our regular babysitter came a little more often. Sometimes for no particular reason or plan and I just went to dinner with a girlfriend or sat ALONE in a coffee shop. It made a world of difference.
Keep Your Long Term Goals in Mind: Robbie is fond of reminding me when I complain about busy work schedules that our future selves will thank our current selves. It's easy to get bogged down in the middle of busy seasons. To not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your long term goals in order as you make short term plans. The things you need to do for those? Come first. Is running a marathon a huge priority? Make sure you schedule those training runs. Building a blog? Time to create content is key. Making new mom friends? Make time to attend events where you can connect with other women.
Share a Calendar: I joke that our marriage is based on our ICalendar. We put EVERYTHING into a shared calendar. From doctor appointments to coffee dates to Robbie's recording gigs. Even if one doesn't involve the other. That way, we are both aware of what the other person has on their plate. It helps to communicate, and know when one of us needs to step up at home a little more.
Keep Extra Clothes in Your Car: As silly as this sounds, be ready to change on the go. I usually keep jewelry, a nicer dress, and comfortable boots that are versatile in my car. Why? Because more often than not, I leave the house at 7 am to teach. School ends at 3. There are plenty of days when I leave school and head straight to a photo shoot or event (most of the time with Lydia in tow). I don't have time to go home, primp, change, etc. So having those key pieces available? Makes my schedule run smoothly. The comfortable boots in these pictures are a PERFECT example. They're tested and true. They're by Dansko, a brand that (thank goodness) makes stylish shoes for people who are on their feet ALL DAY.
The truth is, these tips and tricks make a HUGE difference for me. I'm all about ease, convenience and prioritizing what needs to get done. I love that companies like Dansko create products that make my life easier (and trust me comfortable boots do just that — have you ever tried to make it through a busy day in uncomfortable shoes?). And the bonus? I got my favorite comfortable booties from Zappos. Fast, free shipping, and the fact that I could return them anytime within the next 365 days? A total win for someone who has NO TIME to go on trips to the mall (let's be real, we all would rather shop online).
So tell me…..from comfortable boots to hiring a little extra help, what are YOUR tips for balancing a super busy schedule?