I’m supposed to be going on a field trip with one of my babies today. It’s going to be a fun one too, they’re going to the butterfly gardens! But I just can’t. Thank goodness I’m not an “official chaperone” because then, I wouldn’t have a choice. I was just planning to tag along. Because of course, the chaperone sign-up went out on the day of the last HeartStories GNO, which means it got buried in my inbox so I didn’t see it until it was much too late to sign up. But that’s a whole other story. Today let’s just talk about the fact that momming is hard. (Yes, “momming” is a word now.)
Momming (momm-ing) v.: 1. Tapping into the reserves of strength you never knew you had. 2. Juggling all the things.
I spent the last three days with a house full of handy-people, and all of their mess, working to get our home ready to list for sale. Right in the middle of everything being torn up, I got an exciting text from my neighbor that her friend, a potential buyer, wanted to come see the house before we list it (and before she went out-of-town). So of course, we set a time for her to come last night.
I knew it would be a lot to get it presentable, but that it could be totally worth it.
Of course Tuesday night, the night before she came, we had a middle-of-the-night close-call with our house almost burning down. (because why not!?) Then yesterday, I spent most of the day cleaning the burns and ashes, shoving everything that was-to-be-purged, into suitcases and throwing everything else away. That was followed by surviving a total of 3.5 hours of trying to help one of the boys learn to install and remove contact lenses.
Oh sure! Come on in, everything’s fine!
As soon as she left, we made a late-night run, in the dark to go see all the tile that was installed yesterday in the new house. By the time I fell in bed, I made the executive decision. I cannot do a field trip. I just can’t. Knowing that the boys are out of school on tomorrow and then again on Monday, gives me a total of three work days left until Girls Night Out. No matter how much I want to be at everything, I never want to miss a moment, sometimes I have to choose to hold on to whatever little bit of strength and sanity is left. There will be no butterfly garden for this mama today.
There was a time when I felt so much more capable of peacefully juggling all the things.
I knew it was hard, but thought I had it all figured out. It’s amazing how life will show you how little you know. I used to sincerely believe that it was possible to achieve work/life balance as a mother. I used to think it was simply a matter of choice to be present for all the important moments. But now I know better. “Balance” is not a thing for mothers.
You don’t always get to be present for all the important moments.
Sometimes you have to choice to be alive and sane for the other moments instead. It’s all about prioritizing (putting unequal amounts of value on different things at different times). It’s about doing the next right thing, that you are actually capable of doing. Then, trusting that is enough. It’s true for moms, and everyone else.
Saying “no” isn’t always fun. But sometimes it’s the next right thing to do.
So if you’re feeling the squeeze today, know that you’re not alone. Remember it’s okay to say “no” even if it’s not what you really want to say. Everyone will be fine.
And you will live to fight the good fight another day.
We need you to keep fighting!
to more love & power naps,
(Saying “no” often makes space for a life-giving “yes”. Consider saying “yes” to taking care of yourself by joining us at “Let’s Get Together” GNO next Thursday. It might fill you up in ways you don’t even realize you need. Just a thought. )