Being a mom is all about finding that perfect balance, right? So you know, all those balls we are constantly juggling? Cooking, cleaning, teaching, scheduling, chauffeuring…you know all.the.jobs!? Well last week I dropped one and they all came crashing down.
We all know that when one thing goes wrong, we can expect a few more things to follow. It started when my husband’s car’s transmission blew out and threw our tight schedule and routine for a loop. Our family of five was down a car. Luckily I commute to work with my sister and am able to leave my minivan full of car seats home. Problem solved right? Wrong! Really wrong! Especially when I got to work (45+ minutes away with traffic) and realized that I had both sets of keys to the minivan in my purse.
To say my husband was mad is an understatement. But mistakes happen and I think over the years he’s learned that mommy brain is a real thing. Somehow I was able to ease out of it with a special gift from LQR MKT – has anyone heard of Sip of Sunshine? Anyway, we talked, he explained how frustrated he was with me, I listened for once, and we moved on.
BUT, two days later I did it again. This time we borrowed my parent’s car and I went to work with those keys in my purse. I mean who makes that big of a mistake twice!? Again my husband was furious, but I was even more upset with myself.
I was slapped in the face with the reality that I was functioning on autopilot and not really paying attention to anything. I was too stressed about upcoming report cards and conferences at school, planning my son’s perfect sixth birthday party, and keeping up with the blog. I was drinking way too much coffee and not sleeping. I was not taking care of myself.
Like most moms, I say yes to everything. Yes, I can bake cookies for the bake sale. Yes, I can do that play date after school. Yes, I can go to your LulaRoe party. Yes, I can finish that book for book club. Yes, I can help you with xyz. I know I can’t do it all, but I keep trying. I always say that I’m never too busy for the things that are important to me. But lately it seems like everything is important. And I just can’t do it anymore.
I need to reset my priorities. Even though I was checking it all off my to-do list, things were not getting done as well as they should have been. Tasks were half completed and my focus was way off. I would start one thing, and then think of another, and get distracted. But mamas, multitasking just doesn’t work! I’ve learned that it’s just a short term fix.
But how do I fix it long term? How do I do all.the.jobs? Well for one, I ask myself what jobs are really important. What will make my children happy and healthy? And most importantly what will give me joy? Instead of trying to make dinner, check my email, load the dishwasher, and help my son with his homework all at the same time, I need to stop and ask myself what’s really important. Everyone will survive if we eat an hour later, the email response can wait until the morning, it’s ok if the dishes pile up, but my kids need me. So now I will stop, slow down, and be with my kids both physically AND mentally. I won’t stress over what still needs to be done. I will take a moment for myself to breathe. Everything else can wait.
So right now that’s what I’m doing. It’s not easy, but it’s better than trying to keep all those darn balls in the air at once.