At the buffet…WUT!

About three weeks ago, I decided to write out every task I completed over the course of three days. The golden number (and I’m sure I missed some). . . ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE. WTH?

Now let’s talk about the “buffet” and piling up way too much. I like to get steak and potatoes, while grabbing a roll and salad and then decide I need a dessert, drink, and coffee. Oh, and I forgot a vegetable. Why?

According to a Forbes article, piling up our plates or multitasking actually hinders production by about 40%; way too much shifting between tasks and lack of focus. We pile high and then wonder why things become overwhelming.

Before we get to the overwhelming state, we take on the “we can do it” attitude. Everything is done simultaneously – talking on the phone, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and answering client emails; multitasking on steroids #guilty.

Back to the buffet: how did I fill three days with over 100 tasks? Is it really that serious? Let me provide some background as I’m certain a lot of you can relate:

  1. I am a mother of three; it probably should just end there
  2. My husband and I own and operate two businesses
  3. I teach two classes at a local college
  4. My kids are all under the age of 7
  5. I work in and out of my home – clients, calls, cleaning, scolding, molding, folding, sweeping, wiping

When I shared my list of 133 items with fam and friends, the response was “WUTTTT!” or “you are doing the most.” Yes, but I’m learning – some things have to get done, while others can just wait #workinprogress

Also what I can delegate or pay (minimal) for someone to do for me? Like my new friend InstaCart (online grocery shopping delivered) Next is finding a laundry service. If you know me well, laundry is a *&%$@.

Ultimately, I did this to see where I could make changes and had my husband do the same. It was an exercise to show where we could help each other at the buffet – or pull back altogether.

At the end of the day, it’s no longer about what I didn’t get done, but what I did get done – and it will include paying someone—deuces!!!

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

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Perfect in his own right

This a guest post by Shirley Anne Smith. Thank you for a wonderful perspective.

In 2015, I celebrated two weddings- my brothers and mine- as well as the announcement of the pregnancy of my third child. Most people would say that I was on cloud nine and experiencing the best life had to offer. What most people didn’t know however: I was facing one of the hardest moments in parenting with my oldest child. The child whom everyone nicknamed the “perfect child,” was now failing two classes in the fourth grade. Yes, you read it correctly, the fourth grade.

Let me go back just a little to provide context. My son was tested for gifted in kindergarten. He scored an IQ rate of 134 at just five years old. Most children are not tested for gifted until the first or sometimes the second grade going into third.

Because of a high score, the teachers and administrators recommended that we skip from kindergarten to second grade. My argument against skipping grades was mostly based on emotional capacity to adjust to social norms of second grade while only being five years old. The school was such a great advocate- they created a gifted curriculum for my son since gifted didn’t start until second grade.

Now back to the beginning of the story. It’s his fourth grade year, I’m engaged, and everything in my life has halted due to his failing school. Everyone I consulted told me it was because he had experienced too many life changes – a new soon to be stepdad, a new school, and a new house. And while I didn’t argue that wasn’t completely true, I also know our children are more resilient than we give them credit for. Needless to say, I felt horrible and almost guilty for all the “good” life had given us.

I blamed myself time and time again and felt his grades reflected poorly on my parenting and the type of mother I was.  For whatever reason, I could not help or teach my son how to be the perfect son or a perfect student.

Fast forward and now he’s an A and B student.  While it’s not the Principal Honor Roll (like it was in the past) I had to learn to redefine success and attainment for both of us. The B’s -he has worked really hard for; the A’s – most came naturally.

Sometimes we all have one moment or another where we want perfection and we do everything to seek or maintain perfection.  I no longer allow the A’s to define him, myself, or the relationship I have with him. And while I have learned to be more vigilant of school work and different learning methods, he is still the perfect son. I also have enjoyed being more active in not only his academic trajectory but also the school administration and practices to meet a student’s wide array of abilities.

What was once a very hard time in my life with many shed tears, has now allowed my son and I a platform to discuss a new normal . . . because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Ronald if you ever read this, I love you my perfect child.