I’m writing this time because I KNOW I’m not the only one. And maybe, someone out there is going to read this one and think “Thank GOD I am not alone”.
When you ask someone to define what they are, what do they say? The first thing? If you haven’t had kids yet, I bet you say “I am ::insert profession here::” or maybe you say “I am a wife” or “I am a daughter”. But ask someone who has kids and I can almost promise you, the first thing they say is “I am a mom”….they may or may not go on to explain they are other things as well…but mom will be the first one we list. It’s instinctive. We’re mama bears. The minute we got pregnant our bodies were not our own and we very quickly learned how to die to ourselves. Eat what is best for the baby, exercise because it’s good for the baby, take vitamins because that’s what the baby needs. Then they come out and we forget about our own bodies all together. No one can waste time worrying about stretch marks when you’re more worried about nipples hurting and if you’re going to be able to keep feeding your baby. Then eventually we think about our husbands. Are they getting enough attention? Do they feel validated? Can we help them be better dads? Then you’re back to work (maybe) and then it’s job performance. Do I stink now because I’m worried about who is watching my kid. Did she cry when I left her? Has she stopped? Put my phone away. They’re going to think I’m not capable.
All of this snowballs until before we know it, we haven’t thought about ourselves for one freaking second in about, oh, two years. If you’re a mom of more then pack on those years, five, seven…even TEN!
So the balls keep coming at you. The ones you have to juggle. Some moms might say “I wear many hats”. But I always think of it as a juggling act. My daughter, one ball, my marriage, two balls, being a good Christian, three balls, my work, four balls, that extra stuff I’m supposed to be doing for work like new ideas and promotions, five balls, we are currently buying a house that takes so many trips to the bank and so much time scanning documents and answering emails, six balls, working out and eating healthy because it’s good for you, seven balls, keeping my house clean, eight balls, getting enough sleep, nine balls, we have two dogs, ten balls, I have friends I haven’t seen in months, eleven balls……they just keep coming! There are days when I just kill it too. I do it all. Get it done. And sit at night just sipping my drink thinking “I am woman, hear me roar!”….But there are so many more days I don’t. Too many balls got thrown into the mix. All I can see are those clowns or street performers and their big finish is always more and more. How much can they handle? How high can they throw one so they have more time before it comes down? When are they going to lose them all and drop everything?
For me….it happens all the time. Sometimes when I’m juggling five or six balls I drop one. And depending on which one I am able to carefully maneuver myself and all the other balls to slowly squat down and pick up that one dropped ball and get it back in the air without becoming a big mess drowned in balls. But most times….this is what happens….I drop one. Just one. I know I dropped it, but I don’t care. My friends are understanding and they can wait. Then one more, and I still don’t care. The extra stuff I’m supposed to do for work can wait as long as my base job performance stays strong. Then another….eh…my husband will get over it. And another…I don’t care about working out anymore, I’ll get back on track when I can. And sooner or later I realize there are more balls on the floor then the ones I’m holding.
So I drop the rest of them. I quit. I stop caring. I feel so bad, so angry, so depressed, like such a freaking failure. And I quit for a while. Like not just one day, like many days, a week even (yes sometimes I’ve even gone longer)….and I just skate by on the bare minimum of making myself function. I look at that most important ball, my daughter and I just juggle with that one ball. We sometimes don’t leave the house and hang out all day together while I let all the other balls get wet while it rains outside and I just don’t care.
But because we are awesome, and because we are mom’s and because we are women and we run the house (don’t roll your eyes when you know it’s true)…we get back up. One day you will wake back up after miraculously having gotten enough sleep to feel like a human and you will feel the fire. You will answer all the unanswered emails and pick up that ball. You will remind your husband that you need him and he’s not just a dirty laundry maker and you will pick up that ball, you will call your friends and pick up that ball, you will clean the house and grab that one too….you may even get a work out in….and so help me God if you don’t reward yourself that day for getting back on track, back in the ring, and back into life with a big glass of whatever the hell you want, then you’re not doing it right. You are a juggler. You wear many hats. You spin a lot of plates. Say it however you want to say it, but you know you do it. And I’m here to tell you that even the most seasoned juggler in the ring, has dropped all the balls before. We all have, every single one of us. Our recovery time might be different as well as the amount of balls we keep in the air. But we are all just doing our best to keep the best show one earth going for our babies. And I’ll tell you one more thing….that no matter how you feel, how long it takes you to recoup or how much you have going on, your babies are going to remember you as the best juggler that ever lived. So add that to the list of bad ass accomplishments in your life. You’ve earned it.
**From a day when I was juggling everything. Sweaty work out selfie with happy baby girl and so much more. I’ll chose to remember this day over the others**