I bet you never realized that when you became a mom, you would have so many people pulling on you and demanding things from you all the time. Sometimes, I feel like I’m playing tug of war and I’m the rope!
Have you ever felt that way?
I mean, seriously, think about it … your children are constantly saying, “I need you, I want you, hold me, take me here, pick me up there, feed me, get me this or that, give me money, help me, talk to me, listen to me, hug me, don’t look at me!” Many days you don’t even know if you are coming or going. Not to mention the demands you face during the teen years … you don’t know if you will be encountering Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde!
And these demands are only from your children! Then, add in the needs of your husband: “What’s for dinner? Can you take these shirts to the cleaners? Did you make an appointment for the dog to go to the kennel for our vacation? Can you get my mom a birthday gift? The office Christmas party is this weekend, don’t forget…” Your to-do list seems endless!
Now, add in your own life: friends, work, hobbies, and tennis. Then add your kid’s schools … they are constantly asking for your money, your time and your talent. And this Sunday you went to church and now they’re asking you to volunteer. Oh, and just when you think you are in overload territory … your parents need some extra help, because they are aging and their needs are getting bigger.
Does any of this sound familiar?
There are times in my life when I’ve told Greg I feel like everyone is tugging on me and needing me and I just want to scream or hide. But, screaming and hiding doesn’t help. So, what do you do?
Realize that you are only one person and are limited—you can’t meet everyone’s needs. When life feels overwhelming, here are 5 things you can do:
1. Tell your children that you will do your best, but they may need to help out. Let me re-phrase that, they WILL need to help out.
2. Only volunteer at church or school if you have margin in your life. I’m serious about this point! When I was working and Greg had his busy career going full force, I never volunteered at school because I didn’t have the margin. Greg would ask me if I felt guilty and I said, “No, I need those few hours to get things done around the house, go to the grocery store, and to run errands.”
3. Don’t feel guilty when you can’t do it all. If your parents are needing you, then tell your children they will need to help out with the laundry, cooking easy meals and helping clean up around the house. (If your children are a little older, of course.)
4. Limit the amount of your kid’s extra curricular activities, birthday parties, and/or events in your life.
5. Keep in mind: Everything in moderation.
It takes work to keep a balanced life; it will not come naturally. But, you can make it work.