I am the ultimate “I got it” girl. You know those people who no matter how many times you ask, insists: ” no worries, I got it.” Even when I don’t really have it, I often find myself continuing on as if I can carry whatever is thrown my way with little or no help. I have always put pressure on myself to have it all together and have it all figured out, but the truth is… that hasn’t been the case lately.
I was hesitant about writing this post. However, I understand the importance of transparency. So here I am. Here it is: “I can’t be super all the time.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the social media post that says: ” Make sure you check on your strong friend.” I usually laugh and keep moving down my news feed. In most of my circles, I am the strong friend. I am the one that everybody calls for advice. I am the one that everyone calls when they’re having a rough day. I always have words of encouragement to offer. I’m always available to pray. I am that friend. I love being “that” friend. However, the problem with being that friend is struggling with giving myself permission to need “that” friend. I realized that I somehow convinced myself that I would let others down if I had a bad day or if I happened to be the one in need of advice.
As crazy as it sounds, I found myself feeling like I would somehow lose credibility in my circle of friends if I needed someone to pray for me or offer words of encouragement. The result? I was left feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and sick.
While I was feeling like the walls were closing in. I was constantly hearing: ” You’re so strong!” “You are supermom!” “Girl, you do it all!” and “I don’t know how you do it!” But I wasn’t doing IT. I felt more like I was losing it.
Then one morning it happened.
I woke up and checked the baby monitor to make sure baby girl was still sleeping. I rolled back over and as soon as I started nodding back off…the alarm went off. I figured I could hit snooze and get a few more minutes in before the kids got up and it was time for me to begin working.
Baby girl had popped her little head up and was ready for her morning bottle. I rolled out of bed and rushed downstairs. I usually have all the bottles filled with water (that I boil the night before).
All the bottles were empty.
I put some water on the stove to boil and ran back upstairs. I remembered I had a bottle in the diaper bag and checked. Thank God! There was water in the bottle so I went ahead and added the formula. I walked in the nursery to a smiling baby girl who had also happened to wet through her clothes.
I went to her closet to grab a change of clothes and realized I had been too tired to put her clothes away the night before.
Don’t scream. Don’t panic. Don’t pull your hair out.
After getting baby girl all cleaned up and changed, I gave her the bottle and opened my laptop.
By this time, my youngest son was wide awake and asking if he could have waffles. I grabbed my phone and went ahead and started going through work emails while I grabbed some waffles out the freezer.
Uhh about that water I started boiling earlier…
THIS was my morning.
I work from home. I’m a mother of 3. I am a wife. I have businesses and passion projects. I am tired.
I went on about my work day, trying not to be distracted by the clean clothes spilling from the laundry basket ( that I had been too tired to put away the night before). I tried not to think about the dishes I had in the sink ( I ones I told my husband to leave there because “I got it.”). I tried not to think about the errands that I had to run once the clock struck 4:15pm and my work day was over.
It hit me.
I closed my eyes in an effort to fight back tears that were pushing their way through. I realized I had not taken a break since my daughter was born. I had my daughter on a Thursday and Monday morning I had my laptop in bed working. I didn’t take a traditional maternity leave. Nobody said I HAD to do all these things, but somehow I had convinced myself that I HAD to. I HAD to be “super.”
I HAD to prove that breast cancer hadn’t changed me. I HAD to prove that I could handle it all. I HAD to show my job that I was dedicated. I HAD to…
I realized that I can’t be super ALL the time. I don’t have to be. I have given myself permission to be tired, to not have it all together all the time and to be unapologetic about it. It’s OKAY!
TO all my SUPER friends out there. It’s okay to take a break. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. You owe it to yourself.
It took that morning for me to realize that not only is it okay, but it’s imperative that I hang my cape up sometimes. I don’t have to be super all the time.
I've always believed that we tend to be the most effective in areas where we have been the most affected. It's often our deepest pains that draw us closer to our purpose. Those words never really hit home until I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 28. I had watched both my mother and grandmother battle the disease, but never thought I would find myself in the same battle, especially not so young. I've learned through this journey that it's not what you go through, but how you go through it. I wanted to share my story in hopes that it will inspire someone to keep fighting, keep the faith and live on purpose.