Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Doing It All

A very good friend of mine informed me the other day that I could not "do it all". I needed to stop worrying about everything else and everyone else and just stop for a moment.

She's right.

I hate that.


Why can't I do it all?

Why do I feel like I have to?

I'm the only one who does it right. I know exactly how I want things done and when and if I leave that up to someone else, it won't be done the right way.

Think I have some control issues?

I have a lot on my plate. All of us do. I don't care if you work outside the home or you work inside your home. I don't care if you have 1 kid or 5 kids. We all have a lot on our plates and more often than not it's too much.

What do we do about that?

Do we make the plate smaller? Weight Watchers suggests that you eat off a smaller plate so as to keep your portions smaller and thereby trick your brain into thinking you're eating a lot because your plate looks so full. Is that the trick with all we have to do, too?

Do we get rid of something or not pick from what is offered? How? What do I get rid of? Grad school? Work? My PPD group? What do I throw away? Certainly not my kids.

There is no simple solution. There is nothing out there letting us know how to do it all and still stay somewhat sane. There is nothing out there that helps us figure out what to let go of. What to give up.

It is not an option for me to make my plate smaller. I am a perpetual "overeater." My plate needs to stay platter sized so that when the new things arise, I have room for them. It is not an option for me to not tackle something. And I hate when I decide to tackle something and I have to either hand it off or postpone it.

Again, do we think I have some control issues?

Clearly, I need to learn to say no. I need to learn to say enough is enough. But I can't. I don't have it in me. I feel as if I don't do it, who will?

I don't think I'm alone in this. I have to believe that there other people, moms, dads, whomever, out there who feel the same. Who believe that they can and have to do it all.

Being busy makes me feel good. It lets me know that I'm getting things done. That things are getting accomplished. That I'm productive.

But I'm still mastering the balancing act. I'm still working on keeping my platter steady in one hand while I take on a few more things in my other hand.

I know that I can't do it all. I hate that. I know that I need to delegate. I know that others are perfectly capable. I know all of this.

Why can't I just do it? Why can't I just accept it and let others tackle something? What is stopping me?

Do you feel like you can do it all? Do you feel like you are? How do you handle it?


LunaNik said...

This is a very sensitive subject for me...

I always feel like I'm carrying the full burden without help. And you know what, it's my fault. It's my fault because somewhere deep in my controlling brain, I feel that no one can handle things as well as I can. No one can dress the kids as well, feed them as well, watch over them as diligently, discipline them as effectively. I feel that no one can bargain shop at the grocery store as well or get the dishes as clean, or do the laundry as efficiently as me. And you know what??? It's all bullshit. They can. I just need to let go.

Why are we like this??? Argh. I would totally go to therapy if I thought a therapist could solve my problems as well as I could. ;)

Caffeine Court said...

I think in our culture being overscheduled and stressed is rewarded and admired.

I'm finding that I can't do it all and that it's bad for my family if I try to. We pick and choose the activities we participate in.

I say no to lots of things and we're still really busy. If I said yes to it all we'd all go insane.

You should be proud that you are such a hard worker, but give yourself a break. Everyone needs rest.

Sandi said...

I learned to let go of the control when my husband was dying. I certainly had no control over that.

I have a lot of people in my house to help me--3 nannies, one housekeeper and various babysitters. They don't put things back where I would put them and stuff like that, but you know what? The stuff is getting done, so who cares if it is getting done differently (I choose to use that word rather than "Wrong").

Nina said...

I feel like everyone expects me to do it all but I just can't. Here lately I have reached my breaking point and have been looking for a resolution to my problems. I think I found one that will help a little bit but it hasn't happened yet so we will have to wait and see...

Kate said...

There is something validating about being busy. It's like you matter because you have all of these people that depend on you. That's not really a healthy way to approach life, though. I struggle with that.

Kelley said...

Do it all? Have it all? Fall in a heap?

I do it daily.

If someone would just invent that damn pill so I don't have to sleep already, it will be all good.

Now excuse me, my platters just fell on the floor and I have to clean it up.

ConverseMomma said...

When you feel like you have to do it all, you call me. I will set you straight. You need to also do for you, first! YOu owe it to yourself and everyone involved.

Leendaluu said...

I'm a lot like you..I think we all are. This summer, my platter overflowed and I did not get somethings accomplished that I promised I would and I discovered that I hate do that more than I hate to say no. So I'm trying to say no more.

But I'm not doing very well, because I just said yes to editing the Elementary School yearbook for the PTO. Seems I'm a hamster that can't get off the wheel.

This was REALLY helpful, wasn't it . Not. Good luck, if you find the solution, please let us all know. But in the meantime, know that we all feel your pain.

Momo Fali said...

You are not alone. The other night at a committee meeting, the president asked for someone to take on a new responsibility and I said, "I can not possibly put one more thing on my plate. I can't do it." I thought I was going to get a standing ovation for actually stating that fact! The other Moms were so proud of me!

Kellan said...

I wish we could make our plates smaller and relieve ourselves of some of the responsibilites and stress - but, we can't - can we!?!

Have a good week - Kellan

Helen E.M. Wright said...

I've been on a big organizing and getting rid of things in our life we don't need. Including time.
Check out 'the not so big life' by Sarah Susanka.

I'm usually not one for self-help books but this one has some great questionnaires to see what is really important to you.

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