I hate it when people ask me, “How do I do it all?” Early in my marriage when I had 3 or 4 kids, I used to think that I was good about juggling so many things at once. I would always be quick to give advice to other mothers. But years and teenage children can humble us all. I know that I really can’t do it all. I know I have many limitations and shortcomings. Perhaps the one thing that I can do really well is fool people into thinking that I do all these things really well.
I think as mothers who read columns like these or even when we converse with other moms we need to be careful about comparing ourselves. We look at these “Super Moms” and wonder how they do it all. These kinds of comparisons are not helpful. God has given each of us our own balls to juggle. Some of us may have many balls that we are juggling and making it look like a breeze. There may be some of us who are struggling to juggle just 2 items. Is this because we are weak parents, poor jugglers? No. On closer inspection, we see that those 2 items just happen to be a chainsaw and a bowling ball!
See, we can’t really compare ourselves to one another. Circumstances, temperaments, and family history of ourselves, our spouses, and our children are all factors in what and how we are juggling.
In other words, God has given us each our own juggling act. We can’t look at others to see what they are juggling. We need to only to be concerned about our own juggling. Are you happy with what you are juggling? Are you juggling too much? Many women will fall into this trap. We keep adding things to our juggling and soon find ourselves tired, stressed, and really not juggling well. A good juggler knows her limitations. A good mother prays to God to guide her decisions.
More is not always better. Would you rather be the juggler who is calm, relaxed, and enjoying herself while she juggles, or the juggler who is sweating, nervous, and worrying about making the next catch.
Which brings me to a final point—and yes this one is really about juggling (or is it?) Professional jugglers say that to keep all the items going, they can’t look at their own their hands while juggling, instead, they must always look up!
For more Smart Martha Advice about juggling all your mom duties consider reading Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms or visit my webpage www.SmartMartha.com.
Copyright 2011 Tami Kiser