As you know, I don’t write all of the posts on my blog. I try to have other Mom’s contribute from time to time, and one of the biggest contributors has been Brittany.
She’s been helping me with this blog since day 1, but she’s on sort of a leave of absence right now. When you’re the Mom of four kids, sometimes you can be a little pre-occupied with things that are a little more important than blogging. That’s where she’s at right now.
You have to prioritize
There’s a good lesson to be learned here as well. As a Mom, you will always be bombarded with stuff. You can never get it all done, so you have to prioritize.
Focus on the most important stuff first. This is the safety and security of your family. Hopefully you don’t have too many concerns in this area, but when you do, it’s ok to let the other things slide.
I’ve got some great examples of how this plays out poorly for some people. Have you ever seen the Mom playing with her phone, while driving, with her kids in the back seat? You shouldn’t be doing this while driving anyways, but my rule is the phone is completely away and out of site when I have my son in the car. Best to stay focused and minimize the distractions while you’re going down the road.
What about all the cases where the parent leaves their child strapped in the hot car. I know some of these turn out to be horrifyingly intentional, but what about the cases where they truly just forgot?
I think sometimes this turns out to be a case of where they prioritized other things in their head. Instead of focusing on getting the kid to childcare safely, maybe they were thinking about something that happenned at work. Whatever it is, they prioritized the wrong thing, and the result was disaster.
Balancing work and family
If the basic safety and security of your family is not at risk, which is the position I think most of us can find ourselves in, then you can put some attention to the next priority. This is usually continuity of income.
What I mean by this is, you have to give some consideration to your job. It’s tough being a working parent, because family and work will frequently collide. But you can’t put 100% priority on one over the other. So you have to take each situation and decide what’s more important.
This is a balance that’s different for every person, and there’s going to be repurcussions either way. For example, on the extremes, you can have your workaholic parent, who misses most of their kids growing up. Or on the other extreme, you’ve got the parent who continuously sacrifices work because of family stuff.
On the one end of that you may end up with the regret of not seeing your child grow up, and on the other end you may find it difficult to keep a job. There’s a lot of gray area in between, and you have to find the place that works best for you in your situation.
Oh, and let’s not forget that each of your kids, and your spouse and other family, are people. People who can be demanding, irrational, or difficult, at any given moment.
Have you ever found yourself struggling to get the kids out the door and to school so you can get yourself into the office without being late? How about the kid who can’t find their shoes, or remembers at the moment you’re walking out the door that they had an assignment they forgot to do.
I don’t know how more parents keep from having nervous break downs. The challenges are relentless and ever coming.
And I’m just talking about regular situations here, what about the parents with special needs children?
The point is life happens. You just have to prioritize and reprioritze as things pop up, and keep going. It’s a never ending struggle, but you just have to deal with it.
And you can do it.
You also have to take intentional steps to periodically clear your mind. Getting back to Brittany, here was a post she shared awhile back about making Time for youself.
That’s not exactly what she’s doing right now, but hopefully she remembers this.
She’s had some challenges pop up, and she’s re-prioritized her time so that she can resolve them. She’s keeping in touch, and doing ok, all things considered. I hope to have her back soon, and she’s already told me that when she gets back she’s got plenty to share.
She’s a good Mom, and really does a lot for her family. And she’s a great example of what we have to do as Moms. When challenges arise, and they will arise, we have to stand up and tackle them head on.
Stay strong Brittany!