Have you ever said "yes" to too many events, programs, playdates, work requests and well, anything and everything that came your way?
Sometimes the situation works out, and we “guessed” right and can manage, other times we're wrong. Plain wrong and our days are so crazy and overloaded that we can barely even function.
This is the classic "Over-Scheduled Mom" syndrome. Do you know it? Maybe you know it too well!
I am here to tell you that just because we were wrong in our ability to forecast our energy levels and use of time, doesn’t mean we have to forge ahead in misery, doing a ton of things that are not only unsustainable, but that make our lives hell.
I know this well thanks to my first training camp in Halifax with Team Canada, I “thought” I would have more time for work. I “thought” I would have the evenings to do a few things.
And I love my work. So, I didn’t see where the problem would rear its head. I needed downtime, and “work” was the perfect solution!
Well, that was mistake #1.
(And, for the record, mistakes aren’t bad. They are how we LEARN. But for the sake of this blog, that was my first and minor mistake.)
The real issue was my second, and major mistake, which promptly followed said minor one above.
I had this stubbornness to do exactly what I said I was going to do for work – except it wasn’t possible.
I felt guilty. And I didn’t want to let anyone down, so I just kept going. And going. And going.
The problem is, I was tired. Exhausted, actually, and could barely keep my eyes open at night. And I virtually had no extra time to put into anything but sleep and softball. There was no way I could work.
I got home from my two-week-long training camp with Team Canada on a Saturday. On empty, I threw myself into everything kids, sports, family, business, courses, softball, laundry, etc., and by Sunday I crashed and burned. Like B-U-R-N-E-D.
What happened to put me over the edge, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
That Sunday, I got a message that I had missed an important assignment for Team Canada.
About 2 hours later, I got a message that I had missed something important for work.
And I got both of these messages while sitting at my daughter’s volleyball tournament (and if you do not know volleyball, we were AT the tournament at 7am and didn’t get home until 645pm) and all I wanted to do was be “mom.”
From the pressure mounting on all sides, and letting ALL people in my life down, including my daughter since I was only half-present - BOOM. I broke. I broke down like I had never done so in my life. It included tears that just wouldn't stop.
I promised myself a long time ago to never cry in front of my kids. And guess what? I was so broken that I even broke my own promise on the way home from volleyball.
As I drove, I sat in the driver’s seat with tears pouring down my face.
I was thankful it was dark and I was even more thankful that Grace was wearing sunglasses to look “cool” at night.
With my eyes swollen and face puffy, I continued to cry for the whole 30-minute drive. When we got home, I let her go in and I sat in the car and did my best to pull myself together.
Throughout that whole evening, I would get up and leave family movie night, just to walk into my room and cry.
By Monday, my entire self-doubt was real.
I was questioning myself as a mother.
I was questioning myself as a business owner.
I was questioning myself as a teammate.
All because I was too stubborn to adjust my plans. To say “you know, I thought I would be able to to that, but I can’t.”
That was a huge lesson for me. I know now that it’s okay to say, “this isn’t working for me” and then work to find a new – and improved - path.
I am not a bad person because I “guessed” at something wrong. I am not a bad person because I had to adjust my course of action.
Thank goodness I was able to turn it around. With the help from my mental performance coach, I readjusted expectations, remembered the order of my priorities, and “recalibrated” my plan.
And it hit me. Often, I think as moms, we don’t give ourselves the same courtesy and options that we would give others. We don’t let ourselves off the hook when we make a mistake or start wandering down an unsustainable path.
If we can allow ourselves the grace of making mistakes, learning from them and adjusting our lives accordingly, I think we can all live happier and more meaningful lives.