“On Friday I made a list of all of the things I was going to do this weekend to get caught up at work, and by the end of Sunday night I had them all done,” said NO MOM EVER.
I titled this post “...when you’re a Mama Chiropractor,” but I think the following words could apply to our Dad Chiros, too.
I only write from a moms perspective because I am a mom. And I’ve never been a dad. So, it’s what feels right to me.
However, from my view, the way my husband manages the weekends is much different. More on that in a bit.
"There’s no reason to tell my husband about this super important to-do list I’ve made, because he will intuitively know that I have a bunch of really important things I want to do for my business this weekend."
This is dumb. I am dumb!
I do this over and over. Make a list, promise myself to get it all done and feel great after it is all done, and then dive into the weekend.
What REALLY happens is more like this:
We wake up a little later than usual, and while I’m in the bathroom, my husband gets dressed and grabs his car keys. He stops by the bathroom and says “hey, I’m going to the grocery store and Lowe’s, and when I get back I’m going to watch an obnoxious amount of football.” I stare blankly, “Oh. Ok. Bye.”
But see what he did there? He took action on his plans from the start of the day, and he told me about what else he intends to do with his time. And I still say nothing about my super important list of things to do to so that my weekdays are a wee bit easier and to help my business grow. Nah. That much open communication would just be weird.
I silently decide I can get it all done on Sunday, because Saturday will now be a wash.
I can get all of these things done, because my kids will play together with their dolls and Barbies without any arguments.
Gosh, I am so dumb.
Sure sometimes my kids play together nicely. But my 3 year old is going through a phase (oh God, please let it be a phase!) of extreme mommy-attachment. So she’d rather play with me than with her sisters the majority of the time.
She also currently refuses to let anyone else make her plate, get her drinks, find her snacks, get her dressed, brush her hair, help her in the potty, wash her hands or just about anything else.
Meeting her needs takes up about 70% if my day. The other 30% I sleep—with her Velcro'd to my side all night, of course.
So, even if I had told my husband about my super important to-do list, as long as I was still in the house our 3 year old would be making sure that mama’s every waking moment was dedicated to taking care of her. Because there’s just no one else who can do any of it as well as Mommy.
I don’t need more rest; I need to work harder.
There are times in our lives and phases in our businesses when putting in long, hard hours is necessary. Like when you’re moving office locations, launching a new product or service in your practice, or organizing and hosting a special event.
Most of the time, however, we actually should be planning in more rest into our lives. THIS is what’s necessary for longevity, productivity, and optimal performance.
Don’t believe me? That’s ok. Every author I’ve read this year from Gary Keller to Brendon Burchard to Jon Acuff all agree.
There’s a very specific time when rest is even more essential that these authors I’ve mentioned can’t personally attest to, and that’s the last few weeks of pregnancy. Where I am now.
Although I’m getting better at it, I continue to underestimate how much of my energy is (rightfully) given to supporting my growing baby. Now at 37.5 weeks, and waking up Monday morning with practically nothing from my super important to-do list actually completed, I’m vowing to myself not to make anymore such lists until sometime after our baby is born.
I did exactly what I should have been doing this weekend.
The worst thing that comes from making a weekend work to-do list, expecting to have it all completed Monday morning and getting none of the items actually done is that I missed out on fully enjoying all of the things I DID do.
First of all, I didn’t put “deliver the best care I can to my patients” on the list for my Saturday morning office hours. But I did that, and then totally dismissed the importance of that.
Seriously?! How dumb!
Providing the best care we possibly can to our patients is the number one priority of any chiropractic practice. All other tasks are secondary, at best.
I started off my weekend with the most important thing I can do in my practice, and then spent the rest of the weekend worrying about what I "should" be doing that I wasn’t doing.
Secondly, I spent the weekend with my family. How do I measure the value in that?!
We took all of our kids plus a friend to a Christmas concert, the little ones played outside with cousins, I had lunch and went shopping with my sister (who’s moving 30 hours away in one week), my husband and I got out of the house together for an hour or two without kids, we had a big family dinner out at our favorite restaurant, and we made s’mores on our back porch.
Lots of fun, lots of memories made... and all the while the little voice in the back of my head was reminding me of what I hadn’t made time for getting done.
What's the quote about "worrying about the future robs us of the gifts of the present"...?
Yes, it's like that. When we create these to-do lists and expect to get it all done--whether it's reasonable or not--and then spend all weekend worrying about what we're not doing...
...we miss out on:
- relishing a little extra rest
- noticing that new skill the kiddo learned on her own on her bike
- appreciating the rare opportunity to have time with your sister without any kids
- holding your significant other's hand
- simply feeling good about our choices
I know this won't be the last time that I'll find myself in this scenario. I've done it 100 times, and old habits die hard.
But for the first time, I'm aware of the pattern. And with that awareness, I'm asking myself some new questions:
- What if I just didn't expect to use the weekend to catch up on work anymore?
- What if my weekend to-do list was "sleep in, play outside with the kids, lay on the couch with husband while he watches an obnoxious amount of football, go to lunch with a friend"...?
- What if.... if it didn't get done for work on a weekday, it just..... didn't ever get done?