Biting Off More…

I  feel like I should be able to do the things I’ve signed up to do. It isn’t THAT much. And some of them are really important.

Some of them are important for my writing career. I NEED to write and submit short stories to keep my name circulating and getting attention from readers. I NEED to blog. I OUGHT to to read blogs occasionally. I NEED to update my Facebook fan page. Oh, and once in awhile I actually need to work on my WIP. Or my other WIP. Or my other other WIP.

Some of them are important for my kids. SOMEBODY needs to be the room mom. The teacher needs someone to organize and communicate to the other parents and plan things like the basket for the fundraiser auction and the parties. In the other child’s class, SOMEBODY needs to help with the Book Chat groups. I’m a mom, and I NEED to be involved in my kids’ school, and I’m a writer, so if I’m not willing to lead a Book Chat group, who will? Not to mention there are sports schedules that need to be coordinated and playdates that need to be organized and birthday parties that need to be attended.

And some of them are important for me. I NEED to go to MOPS. It’s one of the few times I get child-free adult interaction. I NEED an occasional date night It’s one of the few times I actually have a conversation with my husband that consists of more than “Will you be home in time to take Bigs to Taekwondo and what do you want for dinner?” I NEED to serve in my church. I NEED to keep my house from becoming a health code violation.

I look at other moms. Some of them work full time or have grand and beautiful ministries they pour themselves into. Some of them have immaculate houses. Some of them are writers who have published multiple books or who are constantly updating their various social networks with their latest wordcount goals. Some of them are dealing with debilitating sicknesses or special needs kids. Some of them go to the gym and perfect their bodies. Some of them cook actual meals using the stove instead of the microwave, and involving multiple food groups.

I look at all the things I HAVE to do. Some of them I do because I’m passionate about what I’m doing and what is being accomplished and what the end result will be. Some of  them I do because I enjoy them. Some of them I do because it’s expected of me. Some of them I do because they need to be done and no one else is going to to it. And some of them I do because I don’t want to be “that mom” who always says no and can’t be counted on and doesn’t pull her fair share of the weight. I do them because I’m asked and I feel guilty saying no. I do them because I worry someone will think I’m a lazy lump who just sits around on the computer all day playing games. And because sometimes I don’t realize just how much I’ve bitten off until I’m choking on it.

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

6 comments on “Biting Off More…

  1. “At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
    there came in the twilight a message to me.
    Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
    that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
    And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
    like a low inspiration, ‘Do the next thing.’

    I’ve read about women in the old days who had six kids and a business and still churned out dozens of books. I asked my mom how they did it, and she suspected that they lived in the moment. Wherever you are, put your whole being into it. And just do the next thing.

    Day planners help, too. 🙂

  2. I know the feeling. I’m having to actually step back from some of my commitments, because I am “choking”. I like the poem Kessie shared, and I think there is something to “being in the moment”. A friend and I talk a lot about the “now” Living in the now. That is where our relationship with God is. It’s not in the past, and the future is yet to come. I’ve wasted so much time and energy worrying about what I haven’t done yet or should do, or comparing, or whatever, then God spoke to me one day while I was taking a shower. You’re wasting energy. Nothing you can say, think, etc is going to change the fact it didn’t get done. As we are learning our boundaries, our limits, weaknesses, and our strengths, the more productive we’ll be. At least, I hope so 🙂

  3. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Boy, I’m with you, Avily. I don’t have near the commitments as many of my friends do, yet I feel overwhelmed, exhausted and scattered.

    At the moment, I’m focused on getting enough sleep. The rest, I assume, will take care of itself.

  5. Priorities and Boundaries. Yes, someone needs to help the teacher, but does that someone have to be you? Sometimes we need to leave a vacuum to give someone else the chance to serve. At the risk of preaching a sermon — or maybe I’ll just write a blog post instead 😉 — each of us must use our gifts to serve others, but sometimes that means saying no to things that you may be skilled for, but not gifted at.

    Yeah, I definitely feel a blog coming on…

  6. There’s a book called “Balancing Act” by Mary Ellen Ashcroft that I love and turn to when I find myself trying to “do it all”. Here is one segment from the book; I’m quoting the author’s spiritual mentor who she turned to in a time when she felt overwhelmed: “If you don’t say no to what is not yours to do, you won’t be able to say yes to what is yours to do. You will suffer tremendous frustration trying to do a job that isn’t yours. And someone else won’t be able to say yes to what is theirs to do.”

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