Pageants, Marriage, Motherhood, and More
When I talk to coworkers, family members, and friends I often hear comments about being so busy or having no free time, “How do you get it all done?” It’s clearly obvious that I am a busy woman. I am a high school advanced placement teacher, educational mentor, a varsity swimming coach, a graduate student, a wife, and mother to two very active 5-year-olds (one happens to have different abilities that require extensive therapies), and recently a pageant queen. Whew, honestly, just writing all that was exhausting. The truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I live by the philosophy, “idle hands are the devil’s plaything.” As far back as I can remember it was instilled in me that boredom would equal trouble. Being a middle child, with a rebellious older sister and a carefree younger brother, trouble was what they did and I stayed as far away as possible from. Therefore, becoming bored wasn’t an option for me. Thankfully, it taught me early on the necessary skills for managing life today.
So how do I manage to grade 145 student essays, plan my weekly classroom activities, type out a 10-page essay, observe and mentor a new teacher, coach a varsity team to victory, spend quality time with my husband, meet the needs of my children and be an active role in their lives, and participate in pageants for myself all in the same week? Well, the answer is simple. It takes extreme multitasking, a lot of planning and organization, and most importantly support and help from my tribe.
I feel like this one is a no brainer and doesn’t need too much detail these days. Multitasking has become a natural part of our daily lives. You’d be pretty hard-pressed to find a mom who isn’t at least experienced in multitasking in today’s society. With technology, I run three different emails on one phone at all times. I’m connected to work, school, and my personal accounts at all times. However to be fair, my personal account these days is mostly just for discounts to my favorite stores that I visit way too much. Like any good millennial who grew up working on homework at the same time as dialing into AOL chat, I’ve mastered the ability to switch from task to task and back again. I mean, I can simultaneously open the dishwasher and unload dishes while cooking dinner and running through sight words with my daughter every night. To be honest one of my favorite parts about being in pageants with my daughter is that it is a productive multitasking event for me. I get to spend quality time with my daughter, playing with toys between stage walks and interviews, making new friends and memories, while I also get an excuse to dress up, wear pretty makeup and feel good about myself. I’m filling up both our buckets at the same time. Multitasking for the win.
Planning and Organization:
I will admit, I am a planner woman. I carry my planner with me EVERYWHERE I go. Some moms use their phone calendars or google, but I am a bit old fashioned. I still get excited at the start of the year when I get to spend some time picking out my favorite planner, transferring over important dates and filling it in as I go. Trust me, filling it in is key here. My children are in different activities with practices and events, I have due dates of papers and tests, meeting with parents and professional developments, plus swim practices and swim meets. It’s important to write it all down or I risk overbooking myself. Keeping my planner nearby and organized is essential to running my daily life. The more organized I am, the easier life flows for my family.
Find your Tribe:
The first time I realized the importance of finding a supportive group of people was during my husband’s deployment. We all know life has a crazy way of unfolding. My husband got orders to deploy the same week we found out we were expecting our first child. To make it even more interesting, he left the very day I gave birth. At 6 pm, he got on the plane, at 6:30 pm, my water broke. I had to rely on my family and friends so I wasn’t alone while at the hospital. The second time was when we got a call about a little boy who needed a mom and dad. He had been horribly treated and had nothing, not even a shirt he could wear. Within 24 hours, he was in our home with clothes and toys and a warm, safe bed all given to us from our family and friends. We adopted that boy two years later with all our family and friends in the courtroom with us that day. It hasn’t been easy, this crazy ride of life, but the support of my tribe has been the biggest and most impactful part of it. I’ve often had to call on them in times when I can’t get it all done on the daily. Sometimes it’s asking my mom to attend the kids Halloween party at school so I can finish a paper or asking my sister to drop off one child at practice so I can take the other to therapy, it’s even reminding my husband he needs to cook dinner so I can write my essay and grade my papers one night a week. It’s a balance and a lot of work to get done, but I know it’s ok to ask for help. Finding a supportive tribe who is willing to help is essential.