I have always been one to take on many tasks. Always moving, always doing. The more the challenge, the more satisfying. Balancing, coordinating, and challenging myself has always been my way.
I think I have finally met my match though, in this “new normal” and in motherhood. The one challenge that has me trying to find ways to do less, because I can’t keep up. Balancing and coordinating cannot achieve what is necessary this time. Less would feel like so much more.
Each individual component is not necessarily overwhelming. I can care for our three young children while my husband is at work. I can work from home and complete my tasks. I can help our oldest son with his first-grade learning from home activities. I can keep up on my side hustles that demand my presence on social media. I can help our three-year old with her much needed potty-training tasks. I can keep up with chores and have a semblance of a managed home. But…I cannot do all these things, or even some of these things, with any real success.
And, as we all know, the opposite of success is failure. Something I do not manage well. Something many moms do not manage well. I feel like I am drowning almost all the time. Even if I have someone to help with the kids, I still can’t balance it all, because all three kids cannot be managed, with their different necessities, at the same time.
I’ve found myself crying more often. Much more often. More than I have ever cried before. Even more than the tears I shed during the holiday season, watching Hallmark movies that are predictable, but heartfelt and touching. What makes it more difficult is all the tears are sad tears. Frustrated tears. Defeated tears. No happy tears this time.
What’s more challenging, is it seems I am in this niche that is not all parents, or all moms, but rather a much smaller group. See, not all moms have three children. Not all families need both parents to work full time. Not all situations have a demanding job that requires availability and flexibility all day every day. Not all moms are trying to manage preschool aged children and school-aged children at the same time. And yet, not all children need a parent to be sitting with them, following along, and redirecting every moment of their learning experience.
Yet, I am not alone. I am so far from alone. And I do not need to feel alone. Because, you know what isn’t unique about my situation? What isn’t unique, is that it is unique.
You see, we all have quite different situations from one another. And, if we spend time dwelling on this, we will feel more alone than ever before. Instead, I do believe we should all focus on the aspects in which our unique perspectives can bring us together. I can support other moms who are trying to balance work and children. I can encourage others experiencing the pull of work while trying to help your child succeed while learning from home. I can recognize the exhaustion of crying, because it all feels too overwhelming to manage. And there are many other moms out there who can absolutely relate to these challenges, emotions, and blessings.
Blessings? Well yes! I have been forgetting lately my strong desire to be with my children more. Now I get to be. I have also been forgetting how incredibly empowering it is to need to be present with my son while he attempts to learn, rather than letting myself be pulled a thousand different directions.
You see, we can all relate to one another in some way. We are all struggling through this. Many of us likely feel like we are drowning every day, with so much uncertainty in whether we will make it through. And we are all getting to experience special moments that we wouldn’t be blessed with in any other situation than our own “new normal”.
Mama, you have got this! You will make it through. And if you need to cry (many, many times throughout the day) then so be it. It will make us stronger, better, and lead us to the mama and the person we truly are meant to be.