Monday, May 17, 2010

"Balance" Only Happens In Gymnastics

Do you ever feel like you've just had enough? I didn't think I would feel that way once I was done with the semester, but I guess the stress of everything is just now really catching up to me. This past week was hard. I had major work issues to deal with - work crises would be a better description - some big church events (and lots of cooking to go along with them), and the official end of school. I think it just all piled up on me, along with residual stress from having just finished finals.

Right now, I feel like someone needs me every minute of every day, and I'm just getting lost in the shuffle. I have to be the best wife, mom, pastor's wife, employee/manager, co-worker, children's ministries director, student, cook, homemaker…I'm starting to think "balance" is just something that happens in a gymnastics class. There is no such thing as balance in my life.

I feel like the guy at the circus who spins plates. I'm always rushing from plate to plate, trying to keep everything going, but something is in danger of falling all the time. Sometimes I need to be able to let a plate fall here and there, but nobody is willing to let it be their plate. It leaves me feeling frazzled and fried. I love all that I do, but sometimes I need to let something go and just relax a little. So why do I seem to be the only one who understands that?

I'm rarely home, and never until at least 7:00 p.m. during the week. When I'm not working, I'm either in school (when school's in session) or at the church. I feel like I don't see my husband and kids enough, and when I do see them, I'm exhausted and stressed and trying to get 15 things done when I only have time for 5. I feel like nothing in my life is getting my time and focus the way it really needs to.

My husband is an incredible dad who does an amazing job. I could never do this without him, and we're blessed that the kids can be with him while I work and go to school, but I have to admit, sometimes I'm jealous. I miss staying home with my boys. I miss homeschooling them. I miss taking them to the park and the library. I feel guilty that I've only been to one tee ball practice because I work every weeknight except Wednesday, when we're in church. I even had to miss his tee ball game this past Saturday because I had to work.

I'm so afraid my kids are going to look back and resent me for not being there more. Even though I have no choice about working, and in the long term this is going to be so good for us as a family - great pay, great hours, and much more time with my family - will they understand that? Or will they think I made the wrong decision? Right now it all leaves me feeling like the "worst mother of the year" award should go to me.

I think a few weeks out of school, and a few days off with my family next month, will make things better. I still think I'm doing the right thing for my family, and I'm glad I decided to do it. In some ways it's been easier than I thought it would be, but in some ways, I had no idea how hard it was going to be. I really had no idea what kind of toll it would take it on me personally. It's not an easy road.


Jennifer Chase said...

Hey Amanda...I understand. Right now my family is mired in soccer...both my boys and my husband play which means 4 practices and at least 3 games every week. I coach the 6 year olds team adn drive carpool for my older sons practices. I also need to keep up on the laundry, the house needs to be moderately clean, I work full time and the boys need help with homework and life. Sometimes balance seems like a 4 letter word. Hang in there...your children will love and appreciate what you've done for your family.

TAMMY said...

I feel like this and I don't even have school in the mix. Can't imagine how you do it. I hope you manage to get some time for yourself this summer!

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