I wrote this essay a few weeks ago, but with back to school season upon us I feel like I need a reminder to not load up on extra activities. The end of the summer is in sight and it’s bittersweet I’m looking forward to a little less Ooey time so I can take a breath and get back to working on some projects. But, no new projects I’m in the mood to say, NO!
Why am I doing this? I’m looking at Ooey and she’s dawdling up the sidewalk to our car. I’d dragged her out of the apartment while she screamed “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go”. (that’s always a good start to the day, in case you were wondering) It’s hot and it’s going to be even hotter when we reach our destination 45 minutes from now.
In that moment I thought to myself, why am I doing this? I can’t pretend like Ooey is going to have a good time. I was trying to take her to the kid’s day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. There were going to be reptiles, oversized lily blooms, and ranger talks. I know my two and a half-year old didn’t care about any of that, I did. And I’m always looking to take a cool photo for Instagram. Additionally I’d made plans to see a friend there, I hadn’t seen in her a while.
It’s a pet peeve of mine when people cancel too often or last-minute. I’m not gonna lie, if someone does it more than three times I stop putting energy into the relationship and let them do all the planning. At which point I may or may not decide to renew my efforts with them.
But it was kind of an a-ha moment, I stay at home to enjoy the time I have with Ooey. Not to drag her all over town when she has clearly told me she needs a day off. Yes, my two-year old is more self-aware than me. So I did what drives me crazy and I texted my friend “sorry this isn’t happening today-I’ll have to catch you another time”. And you know what the world didn’t end. She replied, “we’ve been there”.
I’ve been really bad at honoring my me time and Ooey’s me time. And that has to stop, I’m not a better mom, friend or partner for it. Every time I skip sleep to work on this blog, skip a workout to have an extra playdate or order takeout instead of preparing us a healthy meal I’m not doing what’s best for my family.
Someone always wants something from me, and I know that’s not a problem unique to me. I’m trying to get better at cutting back, at saying no. I know that I won’t wind up bored or lonely as a result, but as a better rested and less stress mom (hopefully).
How about you, do you have too much on your plate?
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