Here is the face of a very tired, water-soaked mama who has shed many frustrated tears this week, dropped a whole lot of balls, said screw it and got everything store bought, pulled off a live painting event and a 7-year olds birthday party this weekend. I take on too much, get bitchy when I’m overwhelmed, and struggle with knowing my limits. I’m eternally a work in progress #notperfect #beingreal #thisisme
This is a post I put on facebook this week. I shared it because I feel like so many of us get caught up on being Superwoman/Superman. I mean, I should be able to juggle motherhood, a healthy relationship, my job, and every little thing that is thrown at me, right? I have been so busy doing for everyone else lately that I feel empty. Seriously, for a week I have cried. I’m not telling you this for pity. I’m telling you because we’re all human. I’m flying around 100 miles per hour half the time. I try to run my art studio and make it profitable. I’m living my passion but working my butt off.
I want and struggle to be a good mother. Recently my son made a comment about how I’m always working and on my computer. I have decided that I will no longer work when he’s out of school. I won’t lie, this is tough for me. So far I’m managing to hold my promise to myself. I always have something I can be working on. There never seems to be enough hours in the day.
I have a partner that is amazingly patient. I don’t give him enough credit or attention. I hold constant guilt for this.
I dropped everything when a family member needed help. That’s what I do. Usually though, it means at the cost of everything on my plate.
I over commit. It’s one of those lessons I never seem to learn. I do it over and over again. This weekend was a perfect example (and a breaking point). I signed my family up for a color run 5k race over a month ago. Then I decided that my sons birthday party needed to be on the weekend instead of during the week so I booked that for Sunday. Let’s throw in a water balloon party so I would need at least 500 water balloons blown up. Easiest way to do that, let’s plan an adult party on Saturday to recruit help. I then absently signed up to be part of a friends art project (because really, it’s only 30 minutes, right?!). Now for good measure, I am asked to do a very public event that could give some attention to my art career. Of course I accepted. Now throw in a hurt relative the week before and no time to plan or prep. Oh, and of course, that Groupon for yoga class is about to expire so I better go ahead and squeeze that in.
Yep, now insert me in pure panic mode, crying my eyes out because “what the hell did I commit to?” Why do I do this? I mean, sure, lay it out on a calendar, it all fits. What I forgot about was my kiddo and relationship who also need attention. To being called for help when someone needs it. Oh, and most importantly, there was no “me” time scheduled in. After many many tears, I realized that I am empty. I have given and I haven’t filled back up. I’m one of those people who needs to go find a quiet place in nature or a good book and a cup of coffee and have alone time to recharge. I’m going on a month without any alone time. And like that, I realize, I am the problem.
So my weekend played out like this. I spend all night Thursday in tears and changing my mind a million times about what I’m going to do for my live painting event. On Friday I drive around (with kiddo in tow) buying art materials and picking up race packets. I text everyone to let them know there is no Saturday night party because I don’t have time (and my deck still isn’t stained because that too has slipped through the cracks). 2 balls dropped. By Friday night I’m out of tears and ready to paint. My event goes well and I’m left totally exhausted.
Saturday morning I am exhausted from the night before and decide that no one has time for the race (1 ball dropped). Instead I grab breakfast and walk around in a daze making to-do lists. I deliver all my painting materials back to the art studio and run all over town again buying everything for the birthday party (which I originally planned on making). 1 ball dropped. I spend the rest of the evening on the deck filling up water balloons.
Sunday morning, woken super early by an excited little boy awaiting his birthday party. Helping a relative, running around like a mad woman filling up the car. Rushing to get to my friends art project (which I miss). Another ball dropped.
We have a great birthday party with a store bought cake and pinata. The kids go through the water balloons in no time flat, and the saving grace is that there is a water park about 100 yards from where we are playing (no idea this was here). It was a great party.
I tell my brother I can’t drive 2 hours to get my niece and I come home and build games with my son. I zone out and talk my son into just watching a movie with mommy so I don’t have to think. Another ball dropped. Go ahead and throw in some guilt for not having more energy and wanting to go jump on the trampoline or making a special dinner to show my partner my gratitude for being such a tremendous help.
The moral is, I’m juggling too many damn balls. And the problem is, they all got put on my plate because I put them there. I don’t have to be superwoman. All week I have visions of solitude and a road trip with the windows down and the music loud and me singing at the top of my lungs. It will happen soon. Until then, I just need some time to set all my balls down and choose carefully about which ones I pick back up. I hate dropping balls. I hate more letting people down. The biggest struggle I have; realizing that I can’t do everything. So I will work through my guilt of wanting alone time to recharge and claim it for myself. I will make me a priority and then start prioritizing everything else in my life as well.
It is ok to say no. It is ok to know when to stop juggling. Remember, if it’s on your plate, you put it there.