How do you handle full on chaos in every part of your life and not go mad?
I didn’t post last week.
When someone asked me why, I said, “I didn’t feel like a good parent or a good boss.” And she said, “So write about that.”
While I was living in Manhattan, my cousin once told me, “You can have a great apartment, a great relationship or a great job, but you can’t have all three at the same time.” Nothing is truer about being a working parent. You can have it all. But you can’t hold it all at the same time. Inevitably, if things aren’t in crisis, they are in flux.
Why was my week hard? Well, all three children needed me in very different ways. I felt pulled to give them my full attention. At work, I was giving an important webinar and felt distracted by researching and delivering that information to my work community with excellence. (Irony: Webinar topic was how to create better healthcare content for moms and kids.)
To top it all off, a direct report was frustrated with the way I had communicated an assignment. I was annoyed at myself about it. On the inside, I felt spent, exhausted and hungry for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
What did I do?
(Spoiler alert: I did not eat the ice cream.)
Do you need to look back to move forward?
Instead of eating the ice cream, which would have been fine, but probably not solved my emotional turmoil, I looked behind me. Hard. I tried to figure out where I went wrong. I dissected conversations and events. During a walk in the woods yesterday with my husband (Go outside! You’ll feel so much better.) I said “I think it’s only valuable to look behind you if there are patterns. Sometimes there are just bad weeks. And I’m not really sure I could have done anything differently, because sometimes there’s only one way and that’s the hard way. It’s moving forward that I need to focus on now.”
So, it was a bad week. I wasn’t the greatest boss in the world. I wasn’t the greatest parent. But I did my best to show up as my best self. I spent time thinking about how to be better and decided not to sweat it so much. Sometimes, like an evil stork, all of the chaos shows up at your doorstep and you just need to deal.
I hope you have a great apartment, a great relationship and a great job. But if one of those things feels like it’s sinking, remember, you still have them. You just may not be able to hold all three right now. That’s okay. You’ll figure it out.
And if you want to eat ice cream, go ahead. It may be just what you need, right now.