When You’re A Mom Spinning Plates
And it probably goes without saying – I hate it. Not so much the feeling crappy part, although that’s not any fun. It’s the guilt I feel that really gets me down.
Some mornings lying in bed I’m already feeling guilty that I’m running behind.
Right now, laying here sick has got my mind racing.
I have so much to do. The dishes are piling up. There’s no food in the house. The laundry is rotting in the washer, there’s dirty laundry on the chair next to me and at least 30 pairs of unmatched socks shoved into my secret hiding place. I’ve got to write another blog post. Oh, my gosh there’s that bill that’s due today. I have to cancel going to the board meeting. My husband’s going to be upset that he has to drive everywhere. Hopefully someone will let the dog out. My basement still has Christmas decorations laying out. (Why is it that when I’m sick my “to do” list gets longer?).
Three more texts just came in. A friend just called that’s going through a crisis. I don’t feel like talking to anyone. Everyone please leave me alone!
When I’m caught in this web, my mind starts racing. My anxiety rises. I feel overly responsible for everything and everyone.
Guilt and overwhelm are common feelings for moms. Being sick just magnifies it.
Moms are “we” people. We’re the life support system, we’re the ones that hold everyone up, the oil in the cog that keeps the wheel running.
We can’t afford to chill or hide under the covers!
Recently a client shared a perfect analogy, “It’s as if I’m spinning plates all the time, trying to make sure everyone’s happy and doing okay. My own plates are lying broken on the ground because I’m too busy spinning everyone else’s.”*
What are the plates that you’ve got spinning?
Maybe you’re doubting that you’re doing enough to help your child succeed or to keep their head above water.
Perhaps you’re worried if you loosen your grip something bad might happen.
You’re wondering if you should be doing more, or that you should be somewhere else rather than where you are.
You may be afraid to let go of “that plate” because if it falls you’ll feel like you’re to blame.
You’re struggling to take care of yourself, to say no, or to ask for help for fear of hurting or upsetting someone.
Or maybe it’s uncomfortable for you to slow down because if you did you’d have to be with yourself. Then you might feel lonely or get in touch with some feelings that your stuffing down.
Perhaps focusing on what you want seems selfish so you keep putting it off.
What might your plates be that you need to pick up?
I want so much for us to get in touch with what we want and need and to give ourselves permission to do those things.
I want us to value and make space for ourselves; to feel free to rest and do the things that feel good to us.
I want us to experience less anxiety and responsibility for everything and everyone else.
I want us to give ourselves permission to have dreams and goals and a bigger vision for our lives.
Today, I’m going to give myself permission to be sick, to rest and recover.
I’m going to ask my husband to make sure they do the dishes and clean up the house.
I will relax my shoulders, lie back down, and breathe in the nurturing that so often I give to everyone else.
What might you give yourself permission for starting today?
Maybe you need permission to say, “Good job”, for what you’re doing well rather than looking for all that you’re telling yourself you could have done better.
Perhaps you need to ask for more help, to say no to the things that you don’t really want to do, and take more time to do what you love.
How might it feel to create the space for some silence; to take a walk, sit down and read a book, sign up for an art class, or something else?
Giving ourselves permission to do more of these things, will inspire our kids. We may be surprised they actually do better.
The vice grip of guilt would lessen and we’d be happier.
Let’s give ourselves permission to do more of those things we’re so hungry for and need so much.
Let’s inspire and cheer each other on.
We’re in this together!
Xo – Sheryl
*the analogy shared was from Kyle Clease.