I was sitting down today with my calendar in front of me, feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s only April, and there I sat trying to figure out where to fit swimming lessons into our already full summer months. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?
Well, with one daughter in an intense ballet summer program, a son with two different weeklong scout camps and lacrosse practice, a daughter doing violin camp all day for a week, my husband working out of state for most of the week for the next five months, and two other kids to keep fed, entertained and constantly sun blocked…yes, I was neck deep in overwhelm-ment.
I tried to downplay the swirling that was beginning in my head, as it was dinnertime and the kids were getting “hangry”. It’s moments like these I begin to question all that we do, and for what? Are my kids overscheduled? Are we doing too much? Doesn’t developing talents and learning new skills build confidence and teach them to work hard at something? Sometimes my well-meaning mother says, “Do you ever just let your kids play?” Her words are like a punch to the gut, and I begin once again to questions my decisions and ask myself once again, how to find balance and what would that even look like?
Once we finished our dinner, with veggies included (mom- win), I was feeling a bit more in control and a little less crazy. I decided to make a game plan. Even with a detailed calendar on my phone that is my lifeline, somehow that small space looking completely full felt daunting. I decided to print out large monthly calendars for the next few months so I could write down the weekly repeating activities. I printed a large weekly calendar with large vertical columns, one for each day. Then I put it up in a place that I could glance at quickly to know where everybody needs to be and when. That way I can easy put all that is expected of me on each day and try to focus on just one day at a time. Writing it all out and seeing it all there with space in between makes me realize it’s really not as bad as it seems. You know, kind of like when you feel like so much is going and then you tell a friend and feel a bit sheepish that in reality it really isn’t as big of a deal as you thought?
Being a mom and wife is a hard work, but rewarding work. With the many roles we play and the many hours spent cleaning, driving, shopping, and organizing our households, it’s a wonder we aren’t all crazy. We can do this, one day at a time.
Women are amazing. We can do hard things. We can teach our children good things, whether that’s at home blowing bubbles, or driving them to and from their activities. With a little organization, a heartfelt a chat with a spouse or good friend, some good food (or dessert), we can do it, one day at a time.