There is this harmful and damaging myth that one (especially a woman) can do it all and do it all with a smile. This myth leaves so many of us crying out in frustration because we are trying to do the best that we can, with the resources that we have, yet somehow we are constantly bombarded with the messages that we are not enough. We are not doing enough, not caring enough, not volunteering enough, not healthy enough, not happy enough... Notice that I am avoiding such things like being thin enough, put together enough, or rich enough. I sort of hope that we have stopped comparing ourselves with others or realized that it is a pointless task. But what about all these other areas, that are immaterial and seem so important?
It is a matter of priorities and those priorities are constantly shifting. I will throw out there some choices that I made today, possibly not "correctly enough", but I hope that my disclosure will make all realize that you do you, and don't worry about others doing it bigger and better.
I was jetlagged, so I am relying on challah from my freezer plus assorted pitas and bagels for shabbos. I am not making challah from scratch.
I wanted to take the homeschool kids out today, so I had to cook the bulk of shabbos last night. No aroma of homemade prep in my house this Friday.
I wanted to go walking, collect beautiful fall leaves and maybe do that leaf watercolor activity, but the kids' eyes lit when I mentioned Gem and Mineral Show. I wanted them to attend a workshop on gem identification, but they were more interested in wandering between the vendors, looking at the stones and fossils, and conversing about them. I prioritized a pleasant time at the show over the educational component. Also, since I took the kids today, I will not be taking the younger kids to the same show on Sunday. On the plus side, for once I did not have to worry about losing kids in the crowds, or constantly reminding not to touch and look with your eyes, not your hands.
I wanted to get a chunk of homeschool work done in the morning before the show, but the basement was in a hair-raising state, so I asked them to clean it up as a birthday present for me over buying me yet another set of earrings or a necklace from the show. I also saw that I have their cooperation in cleaning because they did not seem overwhelmed by the mess.
I wanted 12 yo to do laining, but math ended up taking more time, partly because I saw that one of the concepts needed additional practice and he admitted to not understanding how to work it out. I wanted to show him a complete solution, but he wanted to take over and do his mental math as soon as he understood what needed to be done.
I wanted to have a homemade lunch, but we left late for the show, hung out there longer than I thought it would take, and so I ended up grabbing random food before driving more carpool. No, I did not pack lunch or snacks. I did not even grab my water bottle.
I wanted to do my nails before shabbos, but I chose to be blogging.
(Am I freaking out about academics and skills? A bit, yes, but I think learning how to do things pleasantly, and how to prioritize is also important. I need to give the kids time and space to try those things out, in a safe environment when the stakes are not too high.)