When you feel like you are dropping ALL the balls
There are days when I feel like I have simply failed at everything. Then I string a few of these days together and it becomes a crushing headspace. I am:
- Not the mum I want to be.
- Not the wife I want to be.
- Not the home-maker I want to be.
- Not the friend I want to be.
- Not the employee I want to be.
Whatever I touch seems to fail:
- Meals don’t turn out right.
- Tiny Teddies are a staple pantry item.
- Indoor plants are always dying.
- I’m always picking up something extra from the shops. because I don’t plan well enough.
- I emotional eat more than I would like.
- I never keep to the fitness plan I made.
- The dog doesn’t get walked enough.
- Emails are never answered
- Self-care generally goes out the window.
Maybe you feel like this? It’s so overwhelming.
In this state, all it takes is one small thing like dinner not turning out right, forgetting to hand in at school note, or some other trivial thing, and it all falls apart. It’s like trigger after trigger all day confirming your inner truth that you’re just not managing well enough. But then add to this the final blow: comparison. This ever-present companion comes in two basic forms:
Comparison with others
We all know we shouldn’t, but we do. We all know it’s not a real picture, but we believe it anyway. We see another person’s amazing social media feed and we know it is (at best) only a snapshot of their life or (at worst) manufactured, but we still feel the jealousy. We see other people in similar life circumstances that seemto have it all together and we think to ourselves, “They seem to manage, what’s wrong with me?” It’s so hard in the midst of a crisis of confidence not to be intimidated. The fact is, there are times when it is better not to look. But then there comes a time when we need to turn back and simply choose to be inspired and encouraged and celebrate with them. Maybe they are more organised or skilled- can we choose to see that that doesn’t make us Less, just Different? Choose not to be intimidated.
Comparison with your former self
This comparison is perhaps worse—particularly post-children. And I’m not even talking about your body change. It’s the seeming inability to do what used to be so easy. Back when it was just you; back when you had time, headspace, less to juggle. Now, you have so much more to do. Your time needs to cover more needs. Your head is full of so much more stuff. Your brain needs to cover more ground. You are probably much much more passionate about getting this season right and, as a result, you are probably much more critical of yourself. Your ability to rest and recalibrate is all but gone, so you have less energy to sustain more burden.
The real challenge in this season is reminding yourself that—where it counts—you are still the person you used to be. You know you are capable; you know you have the skill; you know what you can offer; you know you can manage it; you know you can juggle well—you know this because you have done it before. It is not that you are less capable; it is not that you are less intelligent; it is not that you are less efficient; it is not that you are less talented; it is not that you are less sociable—you are simply in a different season.
So, if you feel like you are dropping all the balls, remind yourself that there is simply a lot more ball dropping than ball juggling in parenting. Keep the bar low. Be kind to yourself. Because who doesn’t love a good ball pit for the kids to play in anyway?