By Stacey Stratton, Practice Administrator and Mom of 3 boys
We all have had those days when there don’t seem to be enough hours, or even minutes to get all that we need to accomplish. As a working mom, some days seem overwhelming with the juggle and the struggle to get it all done.
Like most moms with school-aged children, my day starts before the sun rises. My morning goal is simple: get everyone where they need to be on time. The reality of that can look sometimes look like a scene out of a horror movie. Yes, you might see me in the drop off line with wild and wet hair, teeth not brushed, and trying my hardest not to beep at the slower moving cars in front of me. Some days I give up completely in getting my stuff done. I’ll eat breakfast in the car or at my desk to give us an extra 5-10 minutes for something else that has prioritized the morning.
Then it’s time for my brain to switch gears and go from Mom-mode to Worker-mode. Let’s hope the caffeine I managed to gulp down has had enough time to reach my brain cells. For the next 8 hours, I am juggling the demands of my job. Those demands could be of the every day variety of making sure our patients have enough appointment availability that week, or it could involve a short crisis of an employee calling out sick or an upcoming storm to handle.
Even with Worker-mode in play, I am still a mom, and my brain is handling the invisible workload of being a mom. Did my kids make it home safely from school? Have they started their homework? Are they having a healthy snack? Please, let them not eat all of the food I just went shopping for this past weekend. Some days I get a quick text or even a phone call from one of them asking a question or just checking in. My brain snaps back into Mom-mode for those few moments, and then snaps back into Worker-mode for the remainder of the work day.
When I leave my job, my brain doesn’t get a well-deserved rest on the ride home. Some days it snaps into Mom-mode, and some days it is split in two, both Mom-mode and Worker-mode. It is already trying to start working on the next day’s stuff. Getting home, I’m back in full on Mom-mode. Making dinner, unless I utilized my crockpot, which has a warm place in my heart, and helping with homework. It’s Go, Go, Go… all day.
Finally, when the kids are in bed, and I am done with Mom-mode and Worker-mode, I sometimes struggle finding Me-mode. Like most moms, I struggle with the question of what to do with the precious few moments I have to myself. Do I sleep? Do I watch tv? Do I read? Usually, I fall asleep trying to decide which one to do. My brain and my body are done, exhausted from that juggle and struggle of the day.
Would I trade this wild and crazy juggle and struggle? No, not really. However, I would love (and need) a break from it. We, as moms, do need to give ourselves permission for self-care, in whatever form benefits us the most. More importantly, we need to acknowledge that the juggle and struggle are hard and we need to not be so judgmental on ourselves or others. Everyone has their own juggle and struggle. Mine is not harder or more important than yours. We are all trying to juggle a million things and do our best. So, give yourself a standing ovation if you accomplished something today in your juggling act. We are proud of you too!