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How do I balance work, my kids, my family and all of my responsibilities?

Anissa Mayhew, 36, was a wild game hunter in the wilds of the jungle.  When she got bored she became an international spy. Then to top it all she became the mom of three, a wife and started writing. Then things got really exciting when A...

What matters most

In this installment of Tough Love, Anissa Mayhew from Aiming Low offers her advice on how to balance work, kids and all of your other responsibilities.

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Busy mom on the phone

Tough Love with Anissa Mayhew

The question

I'm trying to balance my life -- work, my kids, my family and all of my responsibilities. And I feel like I'm failing miserably. In fact, I've felt like this for five years -- that's how many years I've been a mom. Is this just a feeling or am I really failing? And what can I do?

Anissa answers

What matters most?

As the editor of a site named Aiming Low, I'm tempted to tell you to just grab a cocktail and relax. In all honesty, we've all felt that way one time or another about one thing or another. What you have to remember is that there are things that MATTER and things that matter to those that have enough time to get all judge-y. There are only so many hours in the day and if you get to spend some of those hours with your family and kids you've done what's important. Everything else that can be bought, replaced or dipped in chocolate can wait...some wait a little easier than others.

People before things

There are few things in life that are irreplaceable. I've been in the situation where I had the vital things spotlit. When you're lucky to be alive, you find that your definition of "failing" changes. Your expectations of what you SHOULD be doing needs to be replaced with what you CAN do. Your expectations should never put "things" in front of "people". EVER.


We can be told that not having a spotless house, spotless children and spotless record happy marriage is a sure sign of failure. Did we mention the job you're keeping too? When you hear the voice that tells you that you should be doing more, doing BETTER, kindly tell that voice to SHUT UP.

If you were really a failure as a person, you would fail to care.

You have obligations that matter beyond any other. They can't be done by anyone else but you. Go for walks when there are dirty dishes. Clothes will wait to be folded until you have played hopscotch. You can ignore dust long enough for that cuddle with your honey.

I hope you will learn to stop being so hard on yourself. If not, make giving yourself a break one of the responsibilities you have to yet do.

You'll get my point one way or the other.


  About Tough Love

Tough Love

We're taking your parenting questions and asking for advice from some of the web's most popular mom bloggers. These thoughtful moms are not afraid to tell you exactly what they think. The result? Tough Love.

Looking for some parenting advice? Click here to send your question to our advice columnists. Remember, this is Tough Love - the advice may not always be diplomatic. But it will always be thoughtful, honest and straight from the hip.

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