“Busy” – that’s how most moms I know describe their lives these days. I try to avoid using that word, because we are all busy. But balancing the kids, housework, work, activities, and just fun is tough. I try hard to not over-schedule my family to simply save my sanity, but sometimes life is just busier than we’d like.
That’s the season I’m in at the moment: busier than I’d like but trying to manage. And I recently realized I’m not doing a very good job! A silly screw up on my part made me take a step back and reevaluate my priorities.
Recently I had more commitments than usual and my to-do list was out of control. Still, I signed up to make food for a potluck at work. I love to cook and would prefer to make something over buying it. So I loaded up the kids and went to the grocery store for my ingredients one night. I got what I needed and came home to start prepping.
The next morning, in between getting the kids ready I added avocado to my recipe of shrimp, lime and cilantro. Something just seemed off and I couldn’t figure it out. I kept seasoning, while checking the bag to see if maybe I bought expired shrimp. My husband tasted it and agreed something was off.
I went about getting ready for work, mentally going through everything I had to do in the next 24 hours and then it hit me. I bought raw shrimp instead of cooked shrimp. I ran to check the bag and sure enough that was the problem. I couldn’t believe I made such a silly mistake. My husband said, “You cut up two bags of shrimp and didn’t realize they were raw?” Nope!!! While we had a good laugh, that’s when I also realized how distracted I really was!
I didn’t bring my appetizer to work that day, and of course no one cared. There was more than enough food to go around. But there is not enough me, the mom, wife, employee, friend and daughter, trying to be everything to everyone. My silly mistake first made me grateful that my overly distracted head didn’t cause or create an issue other than bad shrimp. But then it made me realize that while I wear all of these hats, I put all of this pressure on myself, no one else.
And while I’d like to do it all, what my family really wants is a mom who is present in the moment. So this incident made me take a step back and not only recognize my limits but own them. It’s okay to say no to things, it’s okay to reshape expectations, it’s okay to put yourself first and eliminate stress where you can. I’m making this important shift because I don’t want my commitments and to-do lists to cloud my focus when what matters most are the moments with my family. So for the next pot luck, I’m bringing whatever looks good and is pre-made at the grocery store!
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