The words simplicity, simplify, or simple are not often in my vocabulary, unless I’m telling someone how much I’d love to simplify my life. But the reality is, I don’t think I’m meant to live a life of true simplicity.
The times I have felt a deep craving for simplicity are exactly when I have felt the Lord telling me I need to quit or pause something. The need to simplify overpowers me when my plate reaches the tipping point.
But there comes a point where I have said yes to too many projects and I have to simplify. I have to re-evaluate what it is I want my life to look like.
The first time I really feel like I simplified my life was in the weeks leading up to my daughter’s birth. I knew I had no idea what to expect, so I cleared my plate. I wrapped up work. My co-host and I busted our butts to have 2.5 months of podcast episodes recorded so I could enjoy those first few weeks of motherhood and not be worried. (2 episodes a week x 10 weeks = 20 episodes to record, edit, and schedule!)
I stopped working at my job in mid-November; my daughter was born in early December. I had every intention of going back to work in February. I would only be working part time from home, and I really enjoyed the work I did. But when the month of February arrived, I knew I needed to step back from work. I struggled with the decision, but I knew I needed to keep things simple. I knew I wanted to just focus on learning how to be a mom and keep a teeny tiny human alive.
This allowed me to focus on a lot of personal projects. It allowed me to keep my first podcast going with my co-host.
Despite our growing podcast, I was feeling pulled to put it on hiatus. I had hoped to just do a summer sabbatical, but after simplifying, it was clear we were ready to close that door.
You feel like you are letting others and yourself down. While the idea of simplifying should be seen as a good thing, I think we as a society have created a world where we are told we always need to be doing more. We’re told we don’t have to give things up, we can just keep adding projects and tasks to our plates. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for projects. More, More, More, no purging necessary!
So it was no surprise that, after a few months of no podcasting, I was ready to get behind the mic again. I had lots I wanted to talk about in regards to motherhood. I also really wanted to have something that was outside of my mom role.
I dreamt up the Mom Life Podcast as a place to discuss direction and balance while navigating motherhood. I was excited about this show. I was excited to do the work. I was excited to talk to the guests. But as the show began to be released each week, I realized I was more excited about the process of the show, and the work getting it going.
It didn’t give me the satisfaction I was looking for. Despite all my planning, it was becoming clear to me it was time to simplify again. All the time and energy it took to produce a show about motherhood meant I was feeling less than stellar in my actual role of motherhood.
There is a delicate balance between wanting to show your little girl that mama is following her heart, wanting to be doing good purposeful work, and also wanting to make sure things at home are going well.
That last part is tricky. I don’t want to live a life where we are always in survival mode. When you reach survival-mode status, it usually means you need to simplify. It usually means you’ve lost track of what is important and everything is a mess.
When I need to walk away from something or make a change, it is because it has started to seep into all areas of my life and take control.
Yet I still struggle with the idea that walking away from something in the name of simplifying my life doesn’t mean that I have failed.
MotherHustle panelist Jen Hatzung is a business strategist + podcaster (podcast currently on hiatus) who lives in Norfolk, VA with her naval officer husband, toddler and dachshund. She can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) while making lists and strategizing when she can fit in her next run. She currently co-leads her local MOPS group, has her own direct sales business selling lipstick, and does the preschool/naptime hustle helping small business owners with their online engagement. If there is any time left in the day she has her nose in a book or watching HGTV. Find her on Instagram.
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