Picture me as a street performer at Mallory Square in Key West. Who knows why, but I have decided to spin plates. Oh, how I would love to be in Mallory Square right now!
Plate one - advocating for my child's education. It's a swirly plate representing lunch recess, speech therapy and school lunch. I want Alex to be happy and enjoy life. I truly do not care about how smart he is, but I do expect the school to do what they can to help him do his best. They think I am an overachiever who can't handle the fact that my son might be average. BTW - the THEY is his teachers at our public school.
So add in another plate. I see the shortcomings of his current education yet my husband teaches for the same school district. As my son fake farts in my face, which he learned at school, I can't help but complain all the while I am using their pay to provide a roof over our head!
Plate three - my husband coaches varsity basketball. It is a little known fact, but everyone in the world knows more about basketball than the coach, and they are quite happy to say so. Last Thursday, I was sandwiched between my husband's team (we sit right behind the bench) and some loud angry fans from the other team. Alex was clinging to my lap usually crying because his dad was yelling at the guys, or he was hungry or he wanted to go on a walk. My hands were pressed firmly over hears the WHOLE time. The fans behind us spent most of their time criticizing my husband to the point where I was going to have to confront them. I said a silent prayer asking God to help them be quiet or to give me the courage I needed. Fortunately, I didn't have to say anything, but I am not going to let some stranger put down my son's father in front of him. Ironically, we sit behind the bench because it is the best place to avoid most of the criticism.
Plate four - dishes, cooking, cleaning, paying bills all to be done in the four free hours I have while my son is at school.
Plate five - stress eating. I could really use some comfort food to help me balance all of these other plates, but if I eat enough chocolate to make all of this other stuff right, I will not have any clothes to wear!
Plate six - exercise would really help me deal with some of this stress, but plate four is really tricky and takes a lot of time to balance.
Plate seven - I really just want to have fun with my child. I want to bake cookies and play with toys. I want to teach him to read and blow bubbles in the house. Yet, everyday life creeps in. We get up late and are rushing for school. Before 8:30 on most days I am apologizing to him or he is apologizing to me. He will only be five once, and he now has to ability to remember things! I only get one shot to make this a fun time in his life. Yet, I can't bake cookies everyday. See plate five!
Plate eight - my taxes have not started figuring themselves, so I guess I need to work on that too!
Plate nine - money. I am so lucky to stay at home, but that means money is really tight right now. A quick fix to a lot of our problems would be a little more cash. I could buy more clothes if I ate too much chocolate. I could hire my own speech therapist. I could pay for a personal trainer to help me work off the chocolate, and so on and so on.
Plate ten - my Norton antivirus software has expired and is holding all of my online passwords hostage! I need to pay my bills online but can't remember my log in ID or password. I can buy the new version of Norton, but I am waiting until it goes on sale, see plate nine. Must call bank soon!
I can share this with you because I know all of you are also keeping a handful of plates spinning above your heads too. Some of our plates are different, some are the same. Some of us have very large heavy plates that threaten to crush our families. For you, I am saying extra big prayers that you can keep those plates spinning for as long as it takes. I am thankful that my plates are small and manageable, but I am still tired. I am like a salmon constantly swimming upstream, and I just want to stop and enjoy the swim for a while.
Now, I am trying to learn how to drop some of these plates. On Saturday, I went out for a day alone just to be by myself. I went shopping in Iowa and had to cross a very scary bridge to get there. I had a great day, and it was great to forget about the plates for just a short time.