When you don't have the Mom-Energy to do it: The Bare Minimum

concept minimum Dec 09, 2022

How often have you found yourself just exhausted? No energy. Pooped. Drained.

Lemme guess… the answer is, “All the time.” Tell me about it…

And yet, while you’re pooped - everything is still going on in the background. Work, kids, email, social media, life just keeps coming at you.

Every. Darn. Day.

I would like to offer you something quick and easy to practice:

The Bare Minimum.


This week I’m sick. Just that viral schmutz that was no big deal… until I lost my voice and my energy. Suddenly, I could not talk online, nor in a busy clinic. I could whisper, and not even particularly well with that.

As much as it pained me to do it, I called off of work. I knew that whispering through a mask, in the middle of a busy clinic with screaming children would be futile. And, further exhausting.

I canceled clients, rescheduling them with colleagues.

And I rested. And rested.

I had previously-busy days that suddenly had nothing on the schedule. My kids would call from college and I would answer only to tell them I could not talk with them. It could wait.

And… this podcast recording did not happen.

I know it needs to happen. All of it: work, clients, kids, and keeping my program going. It needs me. Or so I tell myself.

But not really.

I need me. To be healthy, I need rest. To be healthy, to invest in me, I get to decline all the things that drain me. Remember: health is an investment that we make in ourselves each and every day. Life is constantly draining us, and yet we get to invest in our health.

What do you need?

When I answer that I need me…. When I think that, I feel love.

It’s with love that I slow down, do the minimum, and drop the rest. 

It’s with love that I realize that the bare minimum is actually doing nothing beyond resting and drinking some amazing hot tea and reading books.

It’s also with love that I’m not giving myself criticism, and there is no guilt.

It’s with love that I know that I will be “back” next week - to what I do want to do.

I can choose to focus on the external needs/demands, or listen to what I need right now.

The kids keep going. Whether they are in my house or (as it happens right now), not – and they are learning and practicing independence. I’m still here for them, and they are figuring it out without mom’s voice this week (I bet they are loving that!).


I’m learning how I don’t need to do all the things. AND BTW learning that some of these things - like responding to emails, making dinner, showing up because I said I would – are still optional. I don’t have to do it. I get to. Or, even more magically, I get to NOT do it.

The bare minimum is what I’m doing this week.

How do you define the bare minimum for you, for today?

For me, it’s a target for me to see just how little I can do. Striving for the bare minimum gives me all the reasons to say no when saying no is still a new practice for me.

The bare minimum is saying no to the majority of “things”, and only letting as much as I choose remain. I choose to keep only those things that are helping me right now.

How are you defining your bare minimum? 

What can you learn about what is really necessary (to meet your needs) and what you actually never needed to do in the first place)?

I am leaning into rest a whole lot more now. I’m back to in-person events, voice still a bit off, and yet I’m practicing slowing down, not pushing. Because I really like how doing the bare minimum showed me that there’s a lot of extra bologna that I can cut and still know that I’m doing exactly what I need to do.

That’s a thought by the way:

I’m doing exactly what I need to do. I’m doing exactly what I want to do.

I invite you to borrow that thought. Try it on. See how it feels. Do you want to take that one with you?

I’m keeping this short - because that’s what I need right now.

Much love, for you and for me. Because that's where it all starts, loving ourselves.

Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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