More Mom, Less Hustle

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Mom Hustle. It’s a popular hashtag and frequently used term. Doing all the things while also being mom. While yes, sometimes the mom hustle is required and even necessary for survival, it can make for a tough way to live long term. My husband just returned from a seven-day trip overseas and truly the mom hustle is how I kept us all going. Personally, though, I can’t sustain living this way for long before feeling completely burned out, empty and exhausted. Let alone, I barely move the needle forward trying to get anything done while simultaneously caring for my children.                                                                                                                                                        
Sometimes when I lay in bed at night, I think back over the day. I tally all the things I checked off my to-do list or begin making a mental note of all that I still need to accomplish. I recall the moments I spent with my kids. I see myself picking up their toys, wiping bottoms, getting them snacks and putting away their clothes. I pause to think, did I actually play with my children today? I did so many things for them, but did I actually do things with them? Was I so busy doing the mom hustle, that I forgot to soak in quality time with my little ones? I often end the day wishing I would’ve focused more on engaging with my children than pursuing my never-ending list of tedious tasks. 

It’s busy with three under five. Multitasking is part of our lifestyle. But I don’t want to be so occupied doing that I miss out on just being. It’s true what they say, the days are long but the years are short.

In practical terms, what does this look like? It’s different for everyone. But for me, instead of hurrying to fold some laundry while all three kids are playing nicely for a moment, actually jumping in and joining them. Rather than trying to get some work done on my phone during movie night, snuggling up to my kids and enjoying it alongside them. Slowing down the bedtime routine to really soak in tender moments with the kids. Actually sitting down at meals with them instead of feeding them while I stand behind the island prepared to meet their next request. Carving out time aside from moments with my children to knock out impending tasks. More attention, less interruption. Intention above distraction. Quality over quantity.

Shifting doing to being will likely result in less time to myself and more work in the evenings. But the tradeoff is more satisfaction in my role as simply being mom. I can’t think of anything more worthy of my time.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my son just came into my office, hopped up on my lap and held out a book for me to read. I’m following my own advice and taking this opportunity to slow the hustle and just be mom. 

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Emily Bice grew up in a small, Ohio farming community west of Columbus. It wasn't until she met her college sweetheart and future husband that her mind was opened to living elsewhere. They say love makes you do crazy things which lead Emily and her Texan husband to living in Central America for two years. After much adventure and traveling, she ended up back in Columbus where the real adventure began: motherhood. She is the mom of two young boys and an infant daughter and wife to the ultimate man's man. She's living her dream as a stay at home mom but will be the first to admit that she is far from having it all figured out. Her hardest parenting moments are typically around nap time and bedtime and after particularly rough episodes she can be found online shopping. In a former chapter of life, Emily worked in non-profit raising funds and awareness for important causes. Today, she spends her time playing and snuggling with her three children, traveling to and from her husband's lacrosse company's events and socializing with friends and family. When she has any free time, she usually wastes it trying to figure out what to do.