Watch What You Reach For...
Running on empty? Spread too thin? You might enjoy one Mom's story that screamed "Slow Down"...
Watch What You Reach For…
If you’re a Mom with school age kids, you already know that June can be a crazy and demanding month. School windups, sports windups, music recitals…and if you have the same luck as me; two kids’ birthdays just four days apart (June 22nd and 26th).
I recall one particularly challenging June with all of the above activities crammed into a one week period. After this particular week of mayhem which involved me bringing potato salad to no fewer than 4 activities; I decided to enhance my Super Mom status by hosting a Sunday family birthday party for my children, Leah and Jeff.
Immediate family meant about 30 people in our backyard with me digging in to my 4th jar of Miracle Whip for the week (yup – more potato salad)!!! The weather was great and everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the pool and my mayo laden salads.
The guests were gone by 7:00 pm and by the time I finished cleaning up it was approaching 9:00. I was exhausted and ready to drop into bed when I suddenly remembered that Leah had a school field trip the next day, and I always liked to pack a special lunch for my kids’ field trips.
Luckily, there were plenty of treats leftover from the party and I lovingly filled Leah’s lunch kit with an assortment of her favourite items; garlic sausage, cheese, a bag of chips, a little chocolate bar, and a can of pop. Everything was packed and ready to go for the morning; the Birthday Party had been a great success; and I crawled into bed a proud Mom. (Please note – this happened in 1997 when it was still acceptable to send a can of pop in your child’s lunch.)
Dragging myself through work the next day was a challenge as I was still feeling the toll of all the activities the week prior, topped off by the family party the day before. I was anxious to get home after what felt like a very long day and hear all about Leah’s field trip.
I knew something was wrong as soon as I saw Leah’s long face and wondered what could have happened. She opened her lunch kit which still contained her entire lunch and handed me her can of pop. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a can of pop – it was a can of beer!!!
Leah was so mortified when she opened her lunch kit and found the can of beer that she quickly zipped it back up, for fear of being discovered and expelled from school. She was upset and starved by the time she got home, and was in the process of revoking my nomination for Mother of the Year.
The disheartened look on Leah’s face made me realize that with the best of intentions I had over extended myself the entire month of June; culminating with me “reaching for the wrong thing” and sending my 10 year old daughter to school with a can of beer!!!
I carry this lesson with me even today; when I catch myself taking on more than I should; or notice that I’m running on empty. During these times I especially need to “watch what I’m reaching for”…
Junk food instead healthy
An evening on the couch instead of a walk
Mindless TV instead of a good book
A nap instead of meditation
Isolation instead of engaging conversation with a friend
Or, a beer instead of a pop…
We all resort to a guilty pleasure here and there, and so we should! But if you start finding yourself at the end of a hectic day (or week, or month), and barely remember how you got there; you might be spreading yourself too thin and reaching for things on autopilot, that just aren’t supporting your overall well being.
In times like this, make sure to check the can before you pop the top!