“How do you get it all done?” <— This is a question I see coming up again and again, to me, to other women. I’ve even asked this question myself.
“How are you balancing it all, getting it all done, and keeping it all together?”
And what the askers all have in common is that they feel like they are failing, because they are not getting it ALL done, or not getting it done the way they want to, or they way they THINK they should.
And I would go out on a limb and say that what the *askees* all have in common is this: They aren’t getting it ALL done either. (Not the way you think they are.)
Those people who look like they have it all put together? They may very well be a little more organized, a little more on the ball, than most of the rest of us. But I would be willing to bet that they are working very hard to keep that all together, that they too feel stretched in some areas, and they too feel like they are failing at something somewhere.
BECAUSE THERE ARE NO PERFECT MOMMAS.
We can’t be everything to everyone. Oh, we try. We take on many projects, many favors, many responsibilities. We get really good at juggling.
But what happens when you juggle? Do you have your hands on every ball at the same time?
No, you don’t. You’ve got several balls up in the air while you’re actually handling the two that are falling the most, only to toss them back up high enough to keep them afloat long enough to catch the next one before it falls. (And sometimes you miss one.)
That’s how I feel, juggling the different things I want to do, the things I feel I need to do, and the things I have to do. I can’t focus on them all at once. I work on this one, then that one, then the one over here, then back to the first one.
I’m not getting it ALL done.
Not ALL at once, for certain, and sometimes, not as well as I like. I’m getting things done in bites and pieces. And I’m rotating through the balls. This one, that one, this one, that one.
Let’s look at housecleaning for example–is the whole house clean all at once? RARELY. (Only right before we have company.) 😉 Are all the dishes done and all the laundry done at the same time. ALMOST NEVER. I could focus on the whole house and only the house and I could get it done. But then I would neglect school, and errands to run, and church duties, etc. Instead, we have our daily bits we try to get done every day, and then as I see laundry getting behind, I focus on that ball today.
Is this crazy-making? A little bit. Only because I’m pretty sure I have a few too many balls in the air right now. I’m working on figuring out which ones to put down. But I’m pretty sure there is some good in this type of pinball productivity–given that the balls you are juggling are the right balls.
In the past I have been guilty of trying to “touch all the balls at the same time.” And I get much too little done on each thing, and I feel as though almost nothing were actually accomplished. Trying to multi-task too much leads to spreading myself much too thin and takes too much time to get the tasks finished.
I mean, there is a certain amount of multi-tasking that has to be done – overseeing school and chores and getting supper started and that sort of thing. But above those things, if I can tell myself, “I will work on this project today, and NOT this other one, I will work on THAT one tomorrow,” then I can be much more productive on both projects than if I tried to work on them at the same time. That’s why it is also important to make sure we aren’t juggling too many things, or some wrong things.
Having a planner helps. I’ve been using my planner and keeping up with it and it helps me stay on top of all the balls I’m juggling. And I have used it to help me decide whether I can take on another favor, or task, or project at the time, because I can see how much I’m already juggling at the time in question. But I still have to be careful not to overplan, and to not take on more than I can handle.
We can only do so much. We can only take on so many projects and responsibilities. And we have to make sure that we are choosing wisely, and taking on what God would have us take on, and we need to learn the important art of saying no (kindly,) to the rest. I have DONE The Best Yes study, but clearly I am still working on APPLYING it.
I don’t want you to feel like other moms are Doing It All, and you are missing some key ability to Be The Supermom. I think if you were to see all the things that “Supermom” could see, you would be able to see the thin-stretched places, the juggling, the undone tasks, and the failures. Even the best jugglers have rough places and occasional fumbles.
Carry on, busy momma, and know that you are not alone. Make wise decisions, put some balls down if you can, and do what you can. Being “perfect” doesn’t make us good mommas.. and I’m glad for that! Because I’m not perfect, and I have to remind myself that the only perfect person to ever walk this earth was Jesus Christ, not me!
Image Credit: Public Domain