There I sat, stunned and confused. As I read my latest performance evaluation, I kept reading one sentence over and over again,”Unfortunately, you did not meet expectations in the compliance and values sections of your job performance”. I was simply in denial. As far back as I can remember, I have always excelled at almost anything I took on. Failure was not something I was used to. Where did I go wrong?
I continued reading through the assessment in a frantic search for answers. Finally, I reached the portion of my evaluation that outlined what had happened and why I was not up to par. Here is what it said:
“There were many times payroll was not submitted, hours were not worked during scheduled times and release quizzes not taken. As of late, she has improved greatly on the payroll submission! As for the Values, I truly believe Bethany values her job, our team, however, part of this is being an active member, being a team player, and a willingness to learn”
Everything that was written was absolutely true. I definitely deserved the scores I got. But the thing is, I am a work at home mom to three young kids. Most of the time, I work while they are with me.
The hours that I did not work as scheduled, I spent unexpectedly comforting my sick baby while she screamed in discomfort, or picked up my son from school when he hurt himself on the playground and took him to the doctor, or the babysitter cancelled when I was relying on her to watch the kids while I worked. The release quizzes need to be completed outside of my scheduled work hours, extra time that I just do not have right now. I do complete them, but only when I have spare time, which is not always by the deadline. Being an active member in the group also distracts me from the tasks I need to complete and slows me down, resulting in more time spent working. Again, this is additional time that I am not willing to take. And as for payroll, honestly, sometimes I just forgot. I am not perfect and sometimes it slips my mind.
The more I read, and the more I thought about it, the more I started to accept it. I have come to terms with failing this aspect of my job. Not only that, but I have decided that I will continue to fail this way. That is, at least until I have more time available to devote to these areas of my job.
Part of my journey in finding joy, has been to establish what my priorities are. Far and away, my top priority is my family. They deserve the best of me and that is what I intend to give them. Most of my time and attention is going to them. Although my job is important to me, I am not willing to let it creep into my family time. I will do the work that needs to be done and after it is complete, I am done.
Every Mom Needs To Be Okay with “Failing” In Some Aspect
No one can truly do it all. When we try to do it all, something always ends up suffering. For me, the thing suffering was my job. It’s okay to not excel at everything. Take some time to identify the things that are most important to you and focus most of your efforts on them. Make sure you are devoting most of your energy to the things that matter most.
As for everything else, don’t worry if it’s less than perfect. Just accept it for what it is and move on. That doesn’t mean that it’s not important or that it doesn’t matter to you, it just means that other things matter more. This also doesn’t mean that we aren’t working to improve. There may be some simple changes you can make to improve your performance without impacting your top priorities (like setting a recurring reminder in your phone to remind you to submit payroll), and I encourage you to do so.
In the end, as I finished reading my performance evaluation, there was one sentence that mattered more to me than all of the others:
“You may not always be visible on Skype or jump at projects/opportunities that come up, however, you excel where it matters most and that’s high quality work and consistent efficiency.”
If you are struggling with trying to keep up with everything that is on your plate, please know you are not alone. We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have. One thing we definitely do not have enough of is time. Don’t spend your precious time doing things that are not important to you. Take some time to reflect on your priorities and spend your time doing more of the things that matter. Don’t feel guilty about letting the less important things slide. I promise, you will be much happier for it.