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Don't Do It All, Do What You Can

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Guest post by:

Julie M. Gentile

Busy moms are getting more things done faster than ever, which is why we need

more self-care.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Today’s moms are being asked to do more than ever. The growing mountain of to-dos we’ve

collected is exhausting. Checked one thing off? Here are five more. With smartphones and

emails, our interruptions are at an all-time high.

We’re often given the superhuman label because of the volume of things we do. Why do we

strive to do it all when we’re tired? Why do we consistently push past our own needs to help

others? Is it fueled by what others think we should do or by our own thinking that we should be doing more?

Enough. We are enough.

We hear it often, but do we believe it?

Even if we can only cross off one thing on our lists today, that’s enough. Even if we ask for help so someone watches the kids while we go to that appointment we need to go to, that’s enough. Even if we spend half a day channeling our creativity and brainstorming our next big step, that’s enough. We’re human. Our minds, bodies and souls need rest, sleep and nourishment through the form of self-care, and we don’t need to earn it or get permission from others to do it. Our well-being depends on how well we take care of ourselves from what we decide to eat for breakfast to what time we choose to go to bed. If we don’t give ourselves what we need, then who will? Our well-being is in our own hands—the same hands that hug our children, change diapers, pack lunches, sign school forms, type emails and turn pages in books. Our self-care matters just as much as everyone else’s self-care. Stand up for your self-care, mama.

A Mantra to Help You Shift Perspectives: “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.”

This mantra popped into my mind one busy weekday. Repeating it regularly has given me

renewed clarity that not everything I think I need to do actually needs to get done (or get done today).

We are the designers of our day. We can choose to become aware that what we’re doing is

enough. We can respond to one more email, or we can log off the computer. We can read one more article, or we can go to bed. We can make one more phone call, or we can eat lunch. We can take responsibility for our self-care through our decisions, and that’s empowering. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.

Article adapted from the original blog post by Julie M. Gentile, “You Don’t Have to Do

Everything; Do What You Can,” at

About the Author:

Julie M. Gentile is the author of two award-winning books, 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices

for Busy Mamas and How to Stay Calm in Chaos: An Everyday Self-Care Guide, and has been teaching yoga since 2011. She is also the creator of the Stand Up for Your Self-Care

YouTube Channel and blog. Sign up for Nourish Note, her monthly self-care newsletter, at, and get self-care inspiration on Instagram and Facebook

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