“these mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” -najwa zebian
I know I can’t be the only one who’s ever felt guilty for not properly learning how to juggle. For having 10 balls in the air at a time and inevitably dropping at least half of them. For having a good rhythm going, thinking I’m managing all things in my life, and then some sound distracts me and I turn my head and next thing I know, chaos ensues.
I have two young kids. Do you know how many pieces of paper come how with them each day from school? How many things I need to complete and sign? How many apps I need to communicate with various teachers and coaches and how many different accounts and websites are required? My boys aren’t even in that many activities and it’s still ridiculous. I want the best for my kids but they also need a sane mom!
I have a husband living with ALS. I’m grateful for the internet and Amazon because that allows him to at least order what he needs & wants without assistance. But you fellow caregivers know… letters from providers, medication management, appointment scheduling & contact lists, being placed on hold only to be connected with the wrong person, paperwork galore. Not to mention assistance with daily activities that require time and attention. It’s overwhelming to navigate, much less with patience and grace and a smile.
We also have a house that needs cleaning and a flower beds that need weeding and a lawn that needs mowing and other bills that need paying and clothes that need washing and folding and on and on. Oh and all these people in my house expect to be fed, and more than once a day.
So why, when I wake up and make my to-do list, and fail to cross much off by the end of the day, do I feel guilty? I know I’m not the only one. I can never do enough, because there is SO MUCH to always do. And then, I feel guilty for feeling guilty, because I know my job right now is to support and care for my family and these other little things I want to do and keep up on shouldn’t matter, and I should just focus on being present. If I focus on the task, I’m a lousy mom and a lousy wife and a lousy caregiver. If I focus on the mom/wife/caregiver responsibilities, I’m failing at being a home maker and house owner.
But I also want an escape and do things for me because maybe I’m selfish but I also believe in personal growth and keeping my own health up. So now I feel guilty for not only not doing the things on my list but also for not being present with my family. Yet I know I need to also take care of myself because, self care, blah blah blah. We all know we need to care of ourselves.
It’s all a big mind screw. It’s so stinkin’ hard to just accept we cannot do it all, or at least not today. Not when so many demands are in front of us. And to just be okay with that. To accept it. To give ourselves GRACE rather than feel the guilt. To remind ourselves, not everything needs to be done now. Not everything needs to be done right. I am enough and I am doing my best. I deserve peace and calm. Sometimes the laundry sits for a few days and sometimes my kids play video games and sometimes I say no to the whole damn world and let all the balls fall to the ground so I can sit and write to try to process my emotions.
I have no magic bullet. No real answers. Some days I feel all the guilt weighing on me and that can be the heaviest burden of all. Of judging myself and only seeing where I am failing. But when I take a deep breath and remember life is so much more than a to-do list, and each day brings its own needs, I can find a way to fit what matters into the day. I’m learning, day by day, how to give myself more grace.
How do you let go of the guilt and give yourself grace?