Mamas: We are NOT supernatural
I have always had this tendency to overcommit. Back in college, I recall getting involved in so many campus activities, in addition to taking a full academic load, plus working. One day, I just crashed. I went to bed, exhausted, at maybe 7pm one night, and I did not wake up until 9 or 10pm the following day. I literally slept for over 24 hours. I also had a moment in college when I was so overcommitted, I had to drop half of my courseload part-way into the semester. I had gotten so far behind that I knew I couldn't pull myself back.
As a mama, I struggle with similar tendencies. I watch fellow mamas struggle with the same. What is the right balance, how much should I volunteer even if I am working a full-time out-of-the-house job? As school is ramping up once again, I am already receiving requests to coordinate an event or lead another initiative and - "oh, by the way" - could I also pick up the donated pastries for the first-day-of-school coffee social?
I had to stop and remind myself: Mama, you are not supernatural. I am starting this school year with a cold, disorganized from a late summer vacation, and overwhelmed returning to a full load at work. There is no way I can take on much more than I had originally committed to at the end of the last school year. So: my goal. Say "no" to a commitment, but say "yes" to another one, one that serves a grounding or self-preserving function. So: say "no" to picking up those pastries, but say "yes" to a yoga class this week. Say "no" to heading another committee, but say "yes" to taking a 30 minute walk with a neighbor.
We have enough to manage with our kids' extracurriculars. We should keep it simple for ourselves. How *much* do you do? Where do you draw the line? How much is too much, and what is on your "no" list?