“I don’t know how you do it all. You’re such a Super Mom!”
Why, thank you. That’s very kind of you. I appreciate the encouragement. But to be honest, that’s not completely true.
I quite simply am not capable of doing it ALL. Some days, I end the workday with more items on my to-do list than I started it with. Some days, my kids don’t match because they are running low on clean clothes. Sometimes, I *gasp* go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.
I try, I really do. But sometimes now and then, a ball drops. Occasionally a couple do.
One day, though. I felt like ALL the balls dropped.
See, we had just sold our home and moved into a little apartment while we looked for our forever home. I had so many balls to juggle. My children, my spouse, my job, our home and all the little smaller balls that went with all of those things. On this particular day, I took a half-day off of work so we could go sign the paperwork at closing. My husband and I were driving to the title office when I got a text from one of my employees. It was almost 10 a.m. and she was wondering what the plan was for our 10 a.m. conference call. I said I moved that call to the next day because I was out. She said, “Um no, it’s still on our calendars.”
There went a ball. I had about 20 people all ready to get on a call that I was to lead. And I forgot to move it. I never do that. I always double and triple-check my calendar to make sure it’s clear if I’m going to be off. But I’d missed one. I asked her to just hop on the call since I was away from my laptop and couldn’t send the cancelation myself and apologize on my behalf that the meeting was cancelled and I’d reschedule.
The closing went smoothly and my husband and I went out for a rare lunch alone. While we were waiting for the restaurant to open, we talked about bills and our future home and I had doubts and fears. My husband told me he’d explained it all before and how things were going to be ok. But I couldn’t remember and I wasn’t sure I believed him.
There went another ball. My husband needed me to have confidence in him, to trust him. And I relied on my own thoughts and vague memories and I just didn’t. And that hurt him. We talked it through and I realized I was wrong and that everything was going to be ok. But it put a damper on the mood. Thankfully lunch was delicious. There’s not much that some good fries and a Reuben sandwich can’t fix. That and time with your partner to plan and dream.
We headed back home and I got ready to log into work (because virtual offices these days). Right away, I had to be ready for a call with one of our clients. I got logged in and ready and started the call. But a whole host of technical difficulties I’d never experienced kept happening. It was quite embarrassing.
I was dropping another ball. I was messing up and I couldn’t fix it. I ended up having to end the call early because it was such a mess. Apologizing profusely.
I spent the rest of my workday trying to catch up, sending out new meeting invites and annoyed because my internet kept going out. I did a speed test and realized our internet was very slow. I called our provider to see what was going on. I found out that when I put in the order to move, I asked for the same speed of service, but apparently that same speed wasn’t available at our new apartment. In fact, the only speed they had available was way to slow to handle what my work system needed. I asked the representative on the phone why I was not notified of this. He explains they sent me a confirmation email showing the change.
I didn’t read that email. To be fair, why would I? I asked if it would be the same, the response I got was yes. So no, I didn’t review the confirmation email. But I still felt as if I’d dropped another ball. If I had read it, I wouldn’t have had a bad client call. I wouldn’t have had to spend all of our family dinner time on the phone with a service provider.
It was now bedtime. I felt like all I had done was let down people all day long. I was frustrated and sad.
But the best part of the whole thing?
All the compassion and grace and forgiveness I received. My husband reminded me that things happen and we need to forgive ourselves. He forgave me as well. The next day, I got the internet set up with a new provider. So that problem was fixed. I apologized to a peer for the confusion I’d caused with the missed call. She was quick to say, “Don’t worry about it.” They were fine with it; it gave them an extra hour back in their day! In an email chain with a couple of our leaders, I apologized for the terrible client call. They were quick to say, “It’s ok. These things happen and not to worry about it.”
It’s ok, mommas, if you aren’t able to juggle all the balls, all the time. Quite honestly, you CAN’T! One of them is bound to drop. And that’s ok. Give yourself some grace. And when you see another momma drop a ball, give her grace as well. Some day, we will all have fewer balls to hold onto. Until then, we’ll just do what we can and forgive ourselves if we drop one or two.