(Inside: Moms seem to have a deep desire to do everything and get it all right. But, we can’t. This is why, and it’s good for the entire family.)
In mom life, our brains are like a table. And there’s only so much stuff that fits on a tabletop.
Mail, backpacks, dishes, laundry, work. At some point, if you add even one new thing, it will push something else off the table to roll stealth-like underneath the four legs, forgotten.
At least, that’s my mom-brain.
If my table is piled high with the tournament schedule, my senior wanting me to read his college essay, and laundry to flip, the orthodontist appointment scheduled 2 months ago is teetering on the edge.
Or if vacuuming, finishing one thing for work by tomorrow, and running to the grocery store cover my tabletop, checking my kids’ grades is a crumpled-up napkin on the floor.
Or if my table carries the mental load of motherhood, worried about THAT SITUATION my kids can’t seem to fix and I can’t help, meal planning has tumbled off, and grilled cheese for dinner reigns.
There is a limit as to what my table can hold.
But this bothers me. I like a full plate. Feeling highly capable hits me just right. And yet, inevitably, I drop my middle schooler off for practice 30 minutes late because I didn’t see the Group-Me-time-change message and negative self-talk roars.
Then my sister told me this table analogy, and, yes, yes, yes. Something sparked, igniting self-grace. I wasn’t checking GroupMe because I was taking care of something else in front of me. Something good. Something my family also needed.
For moms who do everything: this family chore chart works!
Also, this limit has nudged me to ask for help and get better organized. Our family talks a lot about who is doing what so we can all function daily with some success.
Who takes care of the outside?
And cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.
Everyone’s important. Everyone contributes. It’s a theme we continually come back to and work on. I don’t mean to make this sound walk in the park: perfection keeps hiding like a unicorn from our family. But our kids are learning that their help and using their skill sets matter every single day.
Our brains are like a tabletop with limited space. But it forces us to be more intentional about placing things in our space, accepting self-grace, and gathering our people to work together.
What started out as a weakness in my mind has turned into a strength. I’ve come to like that I can only fit so much stuff on my table.
Shopping for your family?
Book lists to get your teens reading;
best book lists for tweens;
best stocking stuffers,
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and more great products just for moms raising big kids.
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Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.