As women we are multi-jugglers without a doubt. We put an expectation on ourselves, and therefore teach others, that we will be there “come hell or high water” for them, but then fall flat on the ground with exhaustion feeling like we have given our all, but nobody is there to mop us up. We pick ourselves up, put that smile back on our faces and start the juggling trick again. Ring a bell with you? Motherhood, lover-hood, biz chick-hood and women-hood is a tricky juggling act!
Yep we juggle kids needs with partner needs, biz aspirations and roles with mothering, and money/time on the tribe’s needs while we say “no” to something we would dearly love to do or know would be good for us. We keep alert of everyone else’s needs, (and attend to them the best way we can), but ignore our own exhaustion signs and passionate needs and desires. We feel guilty when we haven’t made life easier or happier for someone else, while we quietly cry out for an easier and happier life for ourselves.
So do we have to juggle so many balls in the air at once and is there a better way to juggle life’s demands that leaves us feeling less zapped, more energized and happy and “more together” in the process too? Can we actually feel less split? Here’s what I continue to learn…
* As women, I believe we will always be “split” in our loyalties, simply because we are hard-wired to care about others. If someone (eg, partner) is not happy about what “share” they are receiving, then they need to look at themselves and have their own needs met from a greater variety of activities, people and situations than just “you”. You are not their only source of energy, love, inspiration, care…
* We want to be loved by our kids so we often sacrifice ourselves, our time, our money and our energy for them. In the short-term, this can work, but in the long term we can become very resentful. Learn to say no to your kids sometimes, and a big YES regularly to your own needs. It might just teach the others something valuable in the process, and like they say on the airlines, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” Life-saving advice!
* I notice how many appointments, practices and events I schedule in my diary for “doing” things. Why not regularly schedule in retreat time? This does not mean paying huge dollars, ordering in the parents of babysitters and heading off for one weekend once a year to feel temporarily “fueled” for another year. It means daily, or at least weekly, time for YOU…..and yes that means YOU – minus guilt, minus the “sacrificial lamb stuff” and minus the drama. Simply make it a part of your week, much like others (ie kids and partners!!) do!
Having been a juggler all of my life, (6 kids being part of that equation and various work roles!), I may never lose the “balls”, or the “balls” might change every now and then, but it is in the way that I juggle that will determine whether there is a smile on my face or not.