Day 27 of the All About Me Challenge: Worst Habits. Oh, Lord, this could be a long post. I've been thinking about this most of the day, and it could be quite easy to list quite a few things; too much sugar, too little water, trading sleep for piddling on the computer, not exercising enough, snapping at loved ones……we all have them, don't we? Those little quirks and habits that are unattractive.
Today, though, I'm thinking of a habit that starts with good intentions but never seems to follow through (in fact, I've often joked that my headstone will simply say 'she had the best of intentions…'), and that's thinking that I can do it all. And by all I mean all at once, all the time, always with a smile. I'm not alone in this habit, because I know that most moms share it in one form or another, and it doesn't even matter if you're a stay at home mom or a working mom. If you're a mom, it seems that the primary job description revolves around getting everything done, no matter what.
As a work at home single mom, I often pretend that I can do it all. This weekend is a perfect example: I thought I'd catch up on work, get all the grocery shopping done, prep for the week, spend quality time with my kids AND squeeze in some baking with Erin. Intellectually I know there are only two full days and a Friday evening to squeeze this all in to, and like every weekend I started Friday evening with a big agenda and a perky attitude (well, ok, as perky as I get, anyway).
One little wrench, though, and it was all gone. As I drove home from Children's Mercy on Saturday afternoon, where I'd gone to visit my nephew, I stressed about the work that I'd promised would get done; the profiles people are waiting on, the copy I should have finished and sent, the web updates I'd promised to do and the planning I wanted to do. I thought about the grocery list still sitting on my table, the piles of laundry in the basement and the disappointment my kids would feel if I begged out of our time together.
And I realized that i was trying to wear this super mom cape that just doesn't fit me. Never has; never will. And because the work will still be waiting for me on Monday morning, and because I have to believe that all those people who say that on my deathbed I won't regret the time spent with those I love, I traded my cape for an apron. And we baked not one but three goodies: Chocolate Overload Cupcakes, Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes (the frosting was a disaster, but it was still fun) and Oatmeal Scotchie cookies.
Didn't even matter what we baked, really. All that mattered was that we were in the kitchen, cracking eggs and being silly. Because this girl, she's not going to wait for me to grow into that cape. She's going to keep on moving, with or without me, and if I can't keep up she'll roll right by. I don't want to wake up one morning a few years from now and realize that I've missed my chance to be her mom, nor do I ever want any of my kids to think that I'd rather work than enjoy my time with them.
Sure, it's a juggling game, and there are times when working has to take a front seat. What I'm learning, though, is if I don't juggle as much when they are around I'm less likely to let them see me drop those balls. So while they're at school, or sleeping, I'll juggle. The rest of the time, though, I'm theirs. Cape be damned.