Can I tell you a secret… I’ve been dying to post pictures of my Christmas decorations on Instagram. Seriously, I can’t wait for people who haven’t ever stepped foot in my house to tell me how beautiful my Christmas tree is. How self absorbed does that sound?
But I haven’t because I’ve had to let some balls drop the over the last two weeks.
Week before last my kid and husband got sick. Then I did too.
And because when it rains it pours, it was also a busy week at work. And let’s not even mention the behavior regression that led me to have talk to my child’s school principal and behavioral specialist not once… but three times in two weeks. And not to place blame, but once my husband recovered, he had to get caught back up at work. I felt like I didn’t see him for three days.
All this from a cold. A tiny evil virus that morphed into an infection. Blah!
I also had several friends get sick. ‘‘Tis the season, right? One was a new mom of a four month old trying to “balance” work and a sick baby. And then of course a sick self. What is it about families sharing germs?
We text back and forth and she asked me to pray for her. She was wearing too many hats and felt like she she was failing at everything. She just couldn’t find balance.
Truth 1: We women a great multitaskers, so we often think we can do it all. But we can’t. Let’s just admit that right now. At least not every day and all the time. If you are juggling to much to are bound to drop something eventually. Times of sickness, even a minor cold, can wreak havoc on that balance we have think we have.
Truth 2: finding balance between work, home life, friends is NOT a one time thing. It’s a constant battle. An every day effort. And some days are more balanced than others.
So, how do we cope? How do we navigate life when we want to be awesome at everything all the time but just can’t be?
1. I get by with a little help from friends. Feel free to burst into song
Truthfully, it’s a group effort.
I have co-workers who cover for me. Set up lesson plans for me and tidy my desk on days when I give up and finally take a sick day.
I have a group of friends I text for prayer. Those who I admit to on days when I can’t even.
My husband is my best friend. But when our ship goes down, we typically go down together. Why can’t I be sick and just be me so I can be taken care of?
I’ve also cultivated a very small group of mommas. The kind that give me a fist bump and say, “Solidarity, sister.” When I need someone to vent to because my kid kicked a teacher and now I feel like a terrible mom.
And other friends who simply text me when it’s a jeans day at work. Because nothing helps you get through the day like comfy jeans.
Another friend offered to pick up medicine and dinner for me. I declined, because it was a cold… not the flu or some other plague. But that offer was real and full of kindness.
Tip: if you are in a good place at the moment. Be that kind friend! They are the best!
2. Choose the balls you want to let drop. I’m being real here. If you have too much on your plate, pick what can wait. I’d rather do that, otherwise something will get dropped and it might be something more valuable.
Last week, I let the dishes drop. Yep, the dishes sat in the sink for, gasp, a week and nobody died.
Last week, I left the clean laundry in baskets and piles on the couch.
Last week, I admitted to my work team I was drowning in my own stuff. I asked permission to delay something I always did for them. They let me. They still like me. I hope!
Last week, I told my principal and head of curriculum I was “under the weather” but I would get them those dates they needed next week. I did get them what they needed, but I did it when I was more focused.
Last week, I didn’t help my son study for a spelling test nor did we decorate our school/family gingerbread man project. I focused on his behavior expectations instead. We prayed together, snuggled and talked. That, my friend, has value. He did get his gingerbread man turned in… two days late.
Last week, I set aside my grading and got caught up on my rest. I took a sick day and binge watched a new show and slept. They students all survived a day without me.
Last week, we ate take out and mix matched random stuff from the fridge. But no one went hungry.
If I did this forever, it wouldn’t work. But it was just a week. And the hardest part was setting aside my pride.
This week, I’m rested. I’m mostly caught up on grading after three nights of staying up late. I feel physically and mentally in a better place. I’ll work towards maintaining some appearance of balance and eventually get it together. I might even see my husband this weekend.
I plan on cleaning my house this and posting my my Christmas decoration pictures. But I’ll add an asterisk: last week, I let the balls drop.
Sister, what balls can you let drop this week? What hats do you feel comfortable not wearing for a bit so you can feel more balanced? Can you give yourself permission to not be picture perfect?