“I don’t know how you do it.”
I hear this phrase a lot–from my mom, mother-in-law, friends, colleagues–and inwardly cringe every time. I don’t know how to answer this phrase. Is it a compliment? A warning of impending insanity?
Usually say, “Me neither.”
I do a lot of things, but so do lots of women. And like lots of women, I usually keep all the balls I juggle in the air.
I have four children: school aged twins, a toddler, and baby, all of whom are constantly hungry
I have a house that never stays picked up, let alone clean
I work from home as an adjunct English professor and freelance editor
I have a husband whom I love dearly (oops! Can’t forget about him!)
But this summer, stuff got real. Stuff hit the fan.
This summer, I felt like Life was holding a whip to my back, screaming at me: “DO IT, WOMAN! DO ALL THE THINGS! DO ALL THE THINGS AND BE AMAZING TOO!”
And this summer, I’ve to confront my Life, the task-master of my own creation, and whisper, “I can’t.”
So I’ve had to say four words that I have stubbornly, foolishly resisted-with-all-my-being to say in the past.
I need help
|This is how I WAHM (work at home mom)|
In order to say “yes” to my basic Life responsibilities, I’ve had to be honest with myself and say, “My life is not working right now. I am stressed out of my mind. Something needs to change.” So…
I gave up a volunteer position I loved.
I cut short a summer book club I started.
Because I have 55 students in my current 8 week term (a course load I used to handle with ease), I scheduled babysitters to watch the kids a few times a week so I can go to Panera and frantically grade papers for a few hours without distractions.
I enrolled my 2 year old in two-day preschool this fall.
I want to do it all. But I just can’t.
And that’s ok. Because none of us can do it all, all the time. Sometimes we have to ask for help.