I write. I teach. I mom.
I thought my use of this phrase would be a good way to make sure that I stay relatively on topic when using social media. At the time, I thought it was cute. I mean, it is catchy.
However, time has now passed since I began using this pithy little phrase. As my right eye is inexplicably twitching yet again as I wait in the car for one of my kids to finish with another appointment, I’m on submission with a new manuscript, I’m teaching 3 college courses while taking one myself, and I’m quickly on my way to being the shortest person in my house, I can admit that I feel like this cute little phrase is mocking me. In fact, it’s more 🤯 than ☺️ some days.
Isn’t that funny? My life revolves around words, yet sometimes they fail me. Bless the person who made emojis. Were they also a parent, pressed for time yet still needing to quickly get a point across? Honestly, when was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation while on the phone? Exactly. You know what I mean.
Am I still writing, teaching, and momming? Absolutely! So what’s the problem?
My mistake was thinking that I could do all of these things equally well all of the time. My bigger mistake was thinking that writing, teaching, and parenting could be nearly compartmentalized. My biggest mistake was not realizing it’s more like this:
I write. (I mom!) I teach. (I Mom!) I mom. (I MOM!!!)
And let me say this (because I know how some of y’all like to tussle): this isn’t just about moms. This is for any primary parent or parent who spends the bulk of their day tending to and caring for their precious children while also trying to carve out space for other huge time-demanding areas of focus or obligation.
It’s hard! In fact, this has been harder than I ever imagined. Moreover, I have a supportive partner, and it’s still hard! More often than not, I am more exhausted than I am creative and more full of tea than I am of ideas.
Why am I saying this? Because I feel like it’s not said enough. Trying to do anything full-time in addition to being an author is hard. Let’s be honest. Just trying to be an author is hard all on its own. The emotional bandwidth that’s needed..sheesh! There’s no easy fix for it all, but I’ve found the most simple thing can make a world of difference. That thing: rest.
I schedule so much. I try to prioritize so many things, but somehow along the way, I forgot to prioritize rest. I have only recently realized that rest isn’t an reward. It’s a right. I have not been fulfilling my rights to myself, and it’s part of why this struggle to do all I want to do has seemed so incredibly hard. Y’all. I’ve actually given myself a bedtime. It may be midnight, but it’s still something I’m trying to stick to. Eventually, I hope to move it up and sleep like a regular human again.
If you feel like you’re struggling, know that you are not alone. Instead of being hard on yourself, learn to give yourself grace and to be kinder to yourself. That’s something I am continuously striving to do. If you’re the resolution or goal-making type, I encourage you to add “Be kinder to myself.” to your list. Every day doesn’t have to be about hustling and grinding.
How do you manage all the verbs/ responsibilities in your life?
For me, I have to take things one day at a time. Because one day, I just might look back on these days and realize they weren’t so bad.