leighspeaking.jpgLast Wednesday I coordinated a party for women entrepreneurs in Toronto and I was up til 2 am  the night before with my husband stuffing gift bags and fine tuning power point presentations. That morning my 1.5 year old son woke up at 4 am because he has no manners (okay I joke, his newest teeth were popping through). I was so tired that morning I thought I was going to die of exhaustion. 

I like many other women take on too much. I want to excel at everything I do and after leaving work for a leave of absence (which is up in February 2011) I think I am busier now then when I was working full time! 
I am in major need of balance right now. I am holding up but I do feel like one of the weeble wobble dolls I used to play with as a kid. 
This leads me to the question that I was discussing with a friend at a party the week before…. 
“DO ALL WOMEN OVER COMMIT THEMSELVES? DO WE ALL TAKE ON TOO MUCH?’
I think I am asking one of those dummy questions that I already know the answer too – OF COURSE WE DO
Here is a list of things I am doing right now – feel free to slap me smarter:
  • Run four websites/blogs and all the social media that comes with it plus MOM INC on Urban Moms
  • Speak at events (lots of fun because I am still a nervous wreck doing this but practice does make it ever so slightly easier each time – although I hate MICROPHONES for many reasons I won’t get into)
  • Provide marketing coaching services to entrepreneurs 
  • Run an entrepreneur networking group for women (which the founder of Urban Mom’s Jen Maier is speaking at on September 21)
  • Run an outdoor play group for Active Kids Club
  • Do a really bad job of housekeeping but still it is on my to do list
  •  Take care of TWO kids including walking and picking up from school etc
  • Wife of great but messy husband (all though I am sure he would say I am the messy one)
  • Cooking, shopping etc but I avoid it like the plague when hubby is around to do it
  • Volunteer on a Board of Directors for a Parenting Association and occasionally teach for them 
  • Volunteer at my son’s school 
  • Pay bills and do administrative crap
  • Laugh a lot because laughing is a good stress reliever and tension reliever for everyone 
What I don’t do as much:
  • Nit pick
  • Allow petty crap that I can’t control piss me off
  • Garden (my plants die)
  • Read trashy mags or many novels as of late 
  • Exercise although I managed 5 runs and 1 length swim this summer
  • Relax much but somehow I do have a wierd level of zen going on because I am doing stuff I like but at same time it does overwhelm me

Obviously, balance is great but at the same time I am really happy because I have learned to peacefully relinquish control over my life since being this busy and it has been very, very therapeutic for me. 

I cry when I need too. I take breaks when I need to (because I am the boss) and most importantly, I check in with my family all time time to make sure that everyone is feeling okay with the stuff I am undertaking. 
But guess what with all of this nutty behaviour has helped me with?  
I have not had a occurrence of depression in over 2 years. That is a BIG deal to me. I gotta be doing something right.  Although I don’t advocate wearing yourself thin if you are prone to depression. I do take a break when I sense it getting too much for me – a break could mean just half a day away from it all or getting a few nights in at 8 pm sleep time.

PS: The picture of me here is speaking at one of my first events. I was a nervous wreck but I managed to conquer my speaking fears and get through it. I am amazed at what we can accomplish when we put our minds to it!

  • http://www.whereparentstalk.com WhereParentsTalk

    Wow! You do have a lot on your plate. To answer your question… YES we women do take on way too much sometimes. But I think what is important and what we all have to remember is exactly what you mentioned that you enjoy what your doing. Keep up the awesome work :)
    http://www.whereparentstalk.com

  • nancy

    Leigh
    good for you on the publice speaking- I bet you were amazing. Your list is daunting but perhaps because you are doing what you love and you are your own boss – this is helping you with no episodesof depression? You should be proud of all of this!

  • Jen (the sistor!)

    Leigh, you have no idea how much your sister is in the same boat right now – no, I don’t have children, but Dexter often requires a comparable amount of attention. In my time off, I’ve been helping so many people with so many different things that I honestly don’t know HOW I ever had time for a job! Beth and I were JUST talking this week about the need to say ‘yes’ to everything, thereby stretching our to-do lists beyond a reasonable limit…and lately this has been stressing me out.
    Like you, I definitely thrive from having lots going on and being busy – but I think it is a sign of added benefit for you that you’ve been able to combat depression because of it, and for me I still get unhealthily anxious from it. You are definitely a great role model and inspiration as I will certainly hope to work towards this! I am so proud of you.

  • Leigh

    Hi Erin,
    I know it sounds a bit crazy really. There are days when I cry from stress but for the most part I am pretty good with it all. My husband is amazing help in that category.. he has helped me a lot to focus on the big picture.
    Wish I had met you but look forward to meeting you soon.
    What is your Twitter handle (if you don’t have one go to http://www.momentrepreneursnetwork.com and follow this info on how to set it up – I’ll follow you and retweet your posts!
    LM

  • Erin Little

    Leigh,
    Wow you sound busy! That is a lot of stuff on your plate. I would love to hear about your strategies for keeping it all in perspective and not allowing petty crap to piss you off. I find that the state of my house really stresses me out, I need a relatively clean place in order to relax and feel zen. Clutter disturbs my Feng Shui. Yet, I don’t have a lot of time to clean, I have a messy husband (& kids of course), so, what to do? (can’t afford cleaners at the moment).
    I hope that I have a chance to meet you (and the other bloggers) sometime (I started blogging a week too late for Blue Mountain), I need to share ideas with other busy parents.
    You’re doing a great job!
    Erin

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