I've lived life "on the run."
Zoom meeting after zoom meeting, answering emails in every spare pocket of time, rushing through my morning routine, all while mothering from home.
Why are we sacrificing our health and happiness on the altar of “success?”
I think it’s because of expectations, judgement, and shame. I don’t know about you but I’ve lived there for far too long.
It’s time we say no more.
Last week, Oliver, my 7 year old, was getting his molars in and in so much pain. He’s a kid who never complains and he was in agony, and up several times in the night.
His virtual teacher then decided she wanted the class to build a Mother’s Day PowerPoint as my gift (God bless you teachers, you do mean well!) Great in theory. But he’s 7 on an iPad using a Microsoft program.
That resulted in epic week-long tears of frustration and
“Help me, but don’t help me because you’re not supposed to see for Mother's Day."
I’m sure his physical pain didn’t help the emotional pain and we ended school early that day and pulled him out.
Combine that with client calls, launching a membership, an early morning radio show, a late night theater class, and a 2 day mastermind until 8:00pm.
All of which ( a reminder to myself). I choose. Mothering, entrepreneurship, growth. I wouldn’t change any of it. And children are never an excuse or to blame.
By the time Friday rolled around.... I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Just done.
I had another whole day of working and mothering in the morning and day 2 of an 8 hour virtual mastermind while Oliver had school at home.
With a 7am meeting, I cancelled.
All the coffee in the world couldn't save me. My alarm went off at 6:30am and I literally tried to will myself, talk myself, beg my body to move. It would not.
My body was desperately saying stop.
I learned how to listen.
The person who I canceled on told me that my cancelling disrespected them as I changed my commitments.
I disrespected them.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and we wonder
- Why we have a mental health stigma?
- Why people live in fear to call off work?
Why we “push through” until a catastrophic health event happens.
Anyone who shames you for taking what you need. Run. Far, far away. Meetings can be rescheduled. Work will be there. I did not stand anyone up. I simply said. I'm not going to make it, let's reschedule.
Grace and flexibility are two words that I’ve extended to many others in this time. I’ve finally learned how to give it to myself. Especially in a pandemic when we are doing the impossible.
To all those mothering (and fathering), entrepreneur-ing, working, doing all the things.... I see you. We are not built to work and parent side by side in the same hour, yet we are. We are doing it.
And our frontline workers bearing the load of this stress, are doing it.
To those who one week are kicking ass and the next week, hanging on by a thread, I see you.
Oliver is doing much better this week. The molar is in.
I convinced him to make me a card instead of worrying about the PowerPoint presentation.
I slept in all weekend and recovered.
I decided to no longer work with that person.
I’ve changed my schedule to be good to myself.
Be good to yourself.
PS. For a really great podcast episode about self care, listen here.