Pack kids’ lunches. Grade class spelling tests. Make sure N’s book report is started. Plan for the next Language Arts unit. Make sure kids’ laundry is washed before Friday. Make copies for Social Studies project. Oh crap, I have to send out the minutes for the PTA board meeting. Wait — did I really sign that field trip mission slip? When is the next girls’ outing…is it this week or next? Did I call my mom? When do I need to have report cards done by?
These are my current thoughts. I am now up at 3 AM on a Monday morning thinking of all the things I wish I would have had time to complete over the weekend. Why am I up right now? Why can’t I just get this noise out of my head? Oh right — because I don’t just wear one hat, I wear like 20. I’m (and in no particular order) a mom, wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, teacher, neighbor, friend, best friend, coworker, peer, subordinate…and so on and so forth.
Constantly…working moms around the nation are on overdrive. Moms are always on the go and always “on.” I know I’m always “on” — mainly because I’m an elementary school teacher…looking out for children is a constant in my life. I don’t think it really matters if you’re a teacher or not — the constant to-do list runs through our minds day and night (see my earlier post about achieving balance).
When I took a year off last year, I noticed that I was relieved from that element of my life — which was work. I didn’t have a boss to report up to because I was my own boss. I didn’t feel this constant feeling of having to “report” anywhere by a certain time or fulfill my own set of work obligations. Now — even when I love what I do and wouldn’t imagine another career for myself, I do feel a constant loyalty to my students day in and day out…even on my evenings and weekends. Would I trade what I do to stay home? Never.
All at once, I take turns wearing all the other hats — and try to juggle it all at once. Sometimes I wonder why I even try to juggle it all because it seems humanly impossible to be everywhere all at once…but I try anyways because that’s what I am. I am the type of person, like many other amazingly strong women out there that try to do everything all at once. I am the type that will put too much on my plate because I know that I work best under pressure and can’t stand not giving any aspect of my life my 110% all the time. Is it healthy? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me once.
Constantly, I am reminded to take a moment for myself to unwind and take a “time-out.” A moment to just be with my own thoughts and be myself, a moment to find my zen. To shed away all those hats for a moment to gather my own ideas and to just be. As I get older, I do find that listening to my inner self is getting more and more important. When I feel that anxious, robotic, out of body experience. When I feel that I’m slipping away from myself…
I have found a few ways that help me gather myself and recharge. Whether it be making a Target run to just roam around aimlessly with a Starbucks in hand. Or to get on that treadmill and run away the feels. Or by meeting up with some girlfriends for some “wine and whine” time. Or even by taking the long way home from work to just sit and listen to the radio in silence.
I have found the importance of finding your “time-outs.” What makes you feel like you the most? What makes you feel so content that it feels like you’re recharging your “battery?” What could possibly help you strip away all your hats for just one moment?
So ladies, take a moment. Not because I’m urging you to do so, but because you feel that it’s about time! Take that moment for yourself — just for you. You can only give and give so much…
You’re in “time out!”
Your Brainy Chick,
Disclaimer: No way do I feel that moms staying home to take care of their household and family don’t deserve a time out either — get out there ladies…you need that break!