As parents, we wear a lot of hats. There is working mom, taking-care-of-the-house mom, taking-care-of-your-kids’-daily-needs mom. Then, there are individual hats depending on what activities your children do. For me, there is volleyball mom and dance mom.
Sure, there are similarities between all these different roles — keeping your kids’ schedule, getting them to where they need to go, making sure they have what they need to do each activity. But, there is also a shift or transition, if you will, in our mental focus for each one of these roles. Dance mom cares about hair, makeup and costumes. Volleyball mom cares about having clean uniforms and cheering enthusiastically from the sidelines. Often, we’re called upon to play these different roles, or wear these different hats, all in one day with little time to make the mental shift.
It reminds me of what preschool teachers used to say to me about my children when they were very young: “She has trouble with transitions.” Sometimes it was going down for a nap or switching from playtime to reading in a circle on the carpet.
At home, I remember bedtime was always a difficult transition for my kids to manage, as well as getting ready to leave the house in the morning.
So, like our children, we too have to learn to navigate these lightning quick transitions with the least amount of anxiety. Part of it is planning the best you can for every single contingency and then going with the flow. The other part is finding a few quiet moments in every day, no matter how busy you are, to clear your mind and take a few deep breaths.
This past weekend I was dance mom. The previous weekend I was volleyball mom. As you read this, I am back to working mom. At the end of the week, I will embark on a new adventure as foreign-exchange-student-hosting mom.
It’s all in a day’s work. Don’t forget to breathe …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.