“Are you getting ready for the baby?”
(Pause) “Uhhh . . . no.”
My response to this popular, well-meaning question has likely surprised some folks. So, let’s be clear: We are over-the-moon happy and excited for Baby Dancy’s arrival this spring. And we’re equally grateful for a healthy pregnancy and growing baby in my tummy.
But, we’ve also had a lot going on. So much so that my stretch-and-grow muscles ache.
See, the Atlas/Superwoman me whose Love Language is doing for others kept attempting takeovers the last couple of months. I know that Karin quite well: She takes on way too much without asking for help because she doesn’t want to inconvenience or burden others. She says yes to helping others with projects when she’s already overloaded with her own. She works overtime to help others tackle their own last-minute obligations.
Because I know that Karin, I know when she pops up. And I know how to put her in Timeout for our health and peace of mind.
But recently, she ambushed me.
February is always one of my busiest months for writing and editing projects. That means an extra-high volume of jobs while managing kid stuff, elder care and other life matters, all during the shortest month of the year. And, my hubby’s schedule? Also extra full this month, from A to Z. So, as is usually the case in February, our roller skates have been in Rocket Boost Mode.
But this year, a new development in January led to an added ball to juggle in February: New health concerns for my dad. Thankfully, we know he’s okay now. But, it meant an enormous amount of juggling with at least 2-3 medical appointments for him each week, even closer monitoring on my part, and trying not to worry.
Now, add carrying and growing another human being into the mix. It’s blessed work, but it’s also hard work physically and emotionally. We’re nearing the 3rd trimester, so I cannot pick up and load Dad’s walker in and out of our minivan anymore when taking him to appointments. Just making up his bed takes the wind out of me. And sometimes the intense juggling has created intense tears.
So, yeah, February got extra-heavy for me, in more ways than one.
I had to get honest and ask myself, “How do I do it all, for everyone, at the same time?”
The answer was hard for me to swallow, but it was the only logical response:
Instead, I had to determine: What is truly first at this moment?
The truth is, I already knew I had to set aside my inner heart tugs to do everything for everyone. But, when Life’s demands start to outweigh my capacity to manage it all, I can feel overwhelmed and simply forget.
I needed some reminders. That, preggers or not, trying to do it all is not realistic nor sustainable. That choosing to carry a lot so as not to burden others is unnecessary and unkind to myself. And, that it’s okay that some things just won’t get done.
And Life, even while throwing so much my way, agreed. Without knowing of my February overload, one of Dad’s doctors advised me to “stop doing everything.” A dear friend challenged me to only focus on 3 important things and let the rest go. Even Baby Dancy, in his sweet little way, has often made me stop and just be still (and he still does).
And, with all-things-February, I’m glad I listened to them.
I lined up helping hands to go with me to most of Dad’s appointments. I asked friends to help cart the kids to and from some activities. And, I declined requests I knew weren’t doable, with zero guilt.
As March soon arrives, am I now beginning to prepare for the baby with my hubby? Yep. We’re shifting in that direction. Because doing so is now first, at this moment.
Your Turn: How do you prioritize, especially when Life overloads you?