One Mama on Being Mortal

This Rock-star Mama of three kids spend the weekend in Seattle with her monkeys. We went to the Folk-life Festival with 100,000 other Seattleites. I even found parking for $15! We played at the beach, ate from the taco truck and had cupcakes from Ballard’s finest cupcakery. We breakfasted with great friends in Wallingford, went to a Mariners game, visited cousins in West Seattle and made it home in the POURING rain. Generally speaking, I feel pretty good. It was a full but very fun weekend.

Today was the usual 8 hours of work. My lunch break was driving across town to see my daughter’s science project, that smile was worth it. After work, we drove across town again for 1.5 hours of soccer practice.

It’s evening. And this mama is toast. It appears that  the weekend, the workday and the evening activities are catching up with me. I’m tired. (I fell asleep in the car during soccer.)

For a long time, I thought that I should be able to go at this pace continuously. I had this whole internal dialogue about enthusiasm, passion, energy and doing it all. Some of that is just my nature, but other parts of it have been picked up along the way and added to the should pile. After all, other people do it all, or so it appears.

I have realized a couple of things in the last couple of years.

#1 comparing yourself to others, never useful.

#2 It’s impossible to know what other people really do, so stop to trying to guess and figure out what works for yourself.

#3 We all need and deserve down time. It happens in the seasons, marathon runners don’t just keep running. We all need and deserve a break. So…..Miss-going-to-Seattle-with-your-three-kids, you do to.

#4 Recovery time is different as a single parent. Not bad, but important to recognize it as different.

When I was married, we took turns sleeping in and covering childcare so the other person could exercise, hang with friends, etc. That’s different as a single mama and I need to give myself more credit than I do. This lady was able to leap small tantrums and tired kids in a single bound!

And now, it’s my time. Candle, lit. Kids, in bed. Bedtime, early. It might even take longer for me than for other people to recoup, and that’s okay. It really, truly is. It’s okay to let other parents bring things to the 2nd grade picnic. This gal didn’t bat an eyelash when her kids asked hard questions on the drive across town, twice. It was the best conversation, I was so proud of their bravery. That is my job.  Being the best mama I can be. That and letting myself take it a little bit easy for the next couple of days.

Tonight, I could stay up and watch a movie like I used to but it’s this gal who will wake up at 6am and do it all again. And honestly, that’s okay. It’s part of the package of the life I live. And I choose rested for tomorrow. Not always, but for tomorrow. And maybe the next day. And then, we will plan the next adventure, from rested place. Because learning to create balance in this life is part of the work of being a mortal. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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