Keeping The Balls Juggling In The Air

I had lunch with a close friend yesterday, and we were doing our usual lunch and chat, and chat, and chat. I love her, cuz she’s my no bullshit friend. We cut right to the chase. No small talk. Open hearts on the table, raw emotions. And for yesterday’s session, her feelings were that of many of us women, “I feel like I’m constantly keeping the balls in the air. The juggle never stops. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.”

Calling all jugglers and working moms!!

The work-life balance. Such an ancient topic. One we women love to vent about to whomever will listen. After dropping kids off at school and working a full day, the responsibilities still fall upon us to do the groceries, get the dry cleaning, go to Walmart, stay in touch with friends, attend a PTA meeting, prepare a tasty meal, play happy wife, happy mommy, happy employee, and all with that Mary Poppins-like smile.

Keeping The Balls Juggling In The Air

But here’s what smart women know. Most of the successful “jugglers” understand that things don’t come together at the same time.  Meaning, the three components of balance; meaningful work, fulfilling relationships and personal rejuvenation rarely happen at the same time, and without stress. Superwoman may be able to juggle 10 things in a movie, but that’s just what she is… a fictional character.

Now, my goal isn’t to depress you and make you feel like you’re doing a crappy job. Because really, all working moms are doing the best they can. And they are also like a cult, by the way. I swear. All you have to do is work and be a mom, and you’re invited into this “momtrepreneur,” career mom, working mom, “insane mom” group. It’s quite nice, actually.

But my point in all this, is to really help you come to terms with a few things. It’s not to give the usual advice on how to re-balance your life. You can read my other blog posts for those tips. It’s to help you engage in the act of surrendering. To truly surrender to the control to life.

For years, I never surrendered. I pushed as hard as I could. I went as quickly as I could. And I was pretty good at it too. I got so frustrated with slow responses, slow people. In fact, when I owned my business, most of my days were spent frustrated, waiting for an answer from a supplier, waiting for people who I thought were incompetent. I was burning so much negative energy. I went into therapy because of it. I stopped sleeping. I was all consumed with work, and doing the best job I could. Until my therapist told me, that my behavior was not serving me well, in the least bit. And if I kept it up, I was heading into a full-blown burn-out.

So, after months of therapy (and much money spent), my mom, my second therapist, took over! She taught me the art of surrendering. Surrendering to life. That life really is a juggling act. A balancing act. It’s not about finishing first, or finishing best. It’s about being steady. I felt so caught up in the expectations I had placed on myself, that I felt constantly disappointed in myself. Once I learned to surrender to perfection, and accept that I wasn’t going to be my best every day, and that some things would have to wait, I started to relax a little. I started to get healthier in my head and in my heart. I felt freedom. I truly did.

So, once I got the hang of it, I REALLY started to surrender. And it felt YAHOO great! Hey, my kids are only young once. That email will have to wait once I’m home from work. My house will get a little messy on the weekend and thankfully, no one will die because of it. My presentation at the office wasn’t my best ever, but hey, shit happens. All with a grain of salt, because really, we don’t transform overnight. But, I was much improving.

Keeping The Balls Juggling In The Air

So I encourage all of you, whether you’re struggling to keep those balls in the air, or struggling at work, or in your home life, learn the art of surrendering. Perfection is an illusion. I learned to stop trying to swim upstream.  I try and go with the current, and I’m much more balanced because of it.

Happy Thanksgiving my American friends!!! I’ll be back tomorrow (or the day after).

Ladies, what are you juggling in your lives? How have you managed the juggling act?


  1. Loved this blog and yes it is a balance and how you balance, also how you delegate and surround yourself with like minded (if that is a word) people like yourself because it really does take a village to raise your family, the right associates to help run your business, and the obvious a friend to vent to when it is just a tough day.

  2. Wow, I can really relate. I feel like you’re talking about my life. I also struggle with the juggle. Hey, funny.
    But I feel alone sometimes. My parents live out of state and my husband works late hours so I often rely on my good friends for help. Its complex.
    I’m trying to surrender every day. Its getting better. Thanks for your blog. Its inspiring!

  3. Wow, I can relate to this posting today! I just recently had a long discussion with my supervisor at work about my daily challenge to balance a full time job, kids (activities, carpools, homework) and my home (someone has to get the toilet paper from Walmart!!). Lucky for me, she is very supportive of flexibility at work and allowing me to work off hours so that I can fit it all in.

    P.S. I love your blog! I look forward to receiving it each day.

  4. Wow! You were right! I do love this posting! Where do I begin?? First of all I am a perfectionist who has to be the best and #1 at everything I do. I live with so much on my shoulders everyday. Unfortunately I set very high expectations on everything! I know, I know….how do I live with myself…well according to my husband it’s not easy…just kidding. We have a great relationship! Seriously though, it reflects on every aspect of my life, including my 2 beautiful boys. It really dawned on my a few months back when once again I was out the door for work (real estate agent) as my kids are about to sit down for dinner and they both ran screaming and crying to me “mommy please don’t leave again!” as they each grabbed a leg. I would usually get annoyed and raise my voice and tell them that it’s no big deal and that mommy will be back soon. Which was a lie cuz by the time I’d get home they were already sleeping for the night. I fell to the ground with them and just started to cry! My heart broke for my boys! I was never around for them. On top of all that my husband looked at me one night and told me “I’m not your nanny!” That is when I decided to “surrender”. I stopped, listened to my kids and my husband, and took a few steps back. My boys needed me an they were telling me that! I took the summer off and really spent time with my family and things couldn’t be better! All because I surrendered and listened!!!

  5. You are bang on with this post. I relate with it totally. A woman’s work – they say – is never over – even at work we’re thinking of what needs to be cooked for dinner (and it has to be healthy!) and which kid needs to be taken to which activity and at what time and also – who’s going to get the groceries and when….Then when you have a mom that is clingy and at times dictatorial it becomes even more difficult! I am trying to let go – of things that are not important enough so that I have time for the more important things. That’s helping a bit.
    Love your blog –

  6. Loved this post Erica – a complete summation of my life.

    Certainly the juggle is something we all live, eat, breath and sleep everyday. I unquestionably mull alot of it over in my sleep. The constant barrage of never ending “things” that need to be taken care of – the treadmill of keeping it all going – and going WELL, all the time. Never wanting to skip a beat – while striving to work efficiently, mother efficiently and of course run our home and lives effienciently. Without a doubt there is wear & tear though – at times, we as women in our often selfless mode tire of it emotionally if not physically. But when it comes down to it – I couldn’t imagine, nor would I want, to live my life any other way. My short term reprieve from the fray is lunch/dinner with a girlfriend!

  7. I love all your comments and so do our readers! Just to know we’re all not suffering alone brings tremendous comfort.
    Don’t forget to read tomorrow’s Blog. Gonna be great!!!

  8. I described this juggling phenomenon (to a therapist, ironically) as successfully juggling tennis balls when all of a sudden someone tosses in a watermelon. Something has to go or something has to break or we just toss one ball higher so we don’t have to deal with it until we have the watermelon settled on a nearby safe platter.

    Ask my about grad school and juggling. The story is unbelievable – and funny.

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