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What You Can Do By Noreen Heffernan, Writer

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Every time my husband goes to the gym early in the morning, he sees the same guy and that same guy comes up to him and says the same thing, over and over. He says, “you can only do what you can do,” and shrugs his shoulders. When he comes home, I always ask him. “was he there? Did he say it?” Yes. He goes from person to person and says the same exact thing in between his weight routine. We laugh because it’s cute but it is also comforting. He is a simple man, giving a simple message. Sometimes when we feel like we are doing too much or not doing enough we look at each other and say, “what would our gym friend say?”

You can only do what you can do.

Things are so different than when I was a kid. We led a simple life. We played outside, rode our bikes in the summer, and played. We were lucky. Kids have it harder, I think. In turn, anxiety and stress are rising in our children and in the parents. Are we forcing them to keep up? Are we trying to keep up ourselves?

With what?

I think the introduction of social media is our silent disease. Although there is so much good to it, there is also a slow demise of the innocence in our children and ourselves. There is this need to keep up. And it isn’t the keeping up with joneses type mentally, in my opinion. Although I am sure that is still there, I do believe is the keeping up with the plans. The happy pictures with your kids at here and there. As moms, there is nothing that makes us feel worse that believing you aren’t doing enough for your kids. We have this need to make sure that we have an equal amount of those moments for show. And although everyone doesn’t fall prey, there is this quiet overwhelming feeling that maybe we aren’t doing enough for ourselves or our family.

But the truth is, we can only do what we can do.

And I believe, they (our kids) can only do what they can do.

You know your kids, you know yourself and you know your family. That is where it should begin and end. Because we all do not have 8 octopus hands stretching from sesame place and the ice cream parlor for a selfie. We do not have the time to do the #switchwitch and drop off 25 different kids to dance, and make an instant pot dinner to boot. We can’t walk on our hands and give high fives with our feet while we make a recipe from the delish page from facebook and for the love of God, we cannot for the life of us, do it all and be all. We just can’t. And we need to stop trying. We need to relax. We need to let our kids tell us what they want. We need to be truthful to our own souls of what we truly want. And we need to sever our 6 octopus arms and work with our two.

Don’t run yourself into the ground in an effort to be happy.

Find happiness in the quiet moments of life. The in betweens. I believe, it is the in those in-between moments where the happiness of life resides. The sweet spot.

And make sure you decide for yourself and your kids, what it is that you can do and what it is that you can’t…

Noreen Heffernan, Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR , Writer, Growing Ladies and Beautycounter Consultant,


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