How Did I Do It? I Shut it Down!

One mom takes a hint from life and shuts it down.

“How did you do it?” is probably the one question I get asked a lot. I will be the first to admit that my life can be going along smoothly and boom..crap happens. When the crap happens calendars have to change, events have to occur without us, and friends will sometimes be disappointed.

As a multi-tasker, I get a little thrill when I have to run here, run there, do this project, visit that place. For the most part, that works for me. But sometimes, it gets to be too much. And even I need a reminder to slow down.

I have a running joke that it is unusual for for me to go one week without hearing from the school nurse. And it is really true. At least once month, something comes up and one of the kids needs to go to the doctor. But, here’s the deal…I have three kids. And each of them has their own medical issues. Let’s do the math, shall we? If each child needs to go to the doctor at least once each month that equals doctors visits for me once every 10 days or so.

Not to mention the sports injuries and the communicable diseases.

Ok…so I couldn’t help but crack up laughing when I re-read the sentence above. Because my children don’t play sports. But they tend to get sports-like injuries.

But sometimes y’all, all that knowledge of prevention and vitamins doesn’t stop the crap from happening.

Last week, the 6th grader injured herself while stretching in P.E. class. And it was something. The first day, I told her she’d be ok as long as she elevated it. She went to school the next day and bam! It swelled and she couldn’t walk. We went to the doctor to get it checked out on a Thursday. His advice was simple, rest, ice, elevate…take pain meds and stay off of it.

She’s one person in our family of four. But she was immobile. And because of that, we shut it down.

My focus was on getting her well enough for school on Monday, and unfortunately for the other two that meant staying home all weekend.

But was it really unfortunate?


Jada made cookies one day, brownies the next, and a cake on Sunday. What started out as get well dessert for her sister turned into a love of baking…all in one weekend. I was there to help and guide, but she did all the work.

And the boy played board games, listened to music, worked on some art projects, and wait for it…read books. And the kids talked to their Dad, who was also a bit under the weather. And they felt bad for him and wished they could help. And that brought up some emotional issues none of us were ready for. So we prayed.

The few things we scheduled in advance had to wait. They had to be postponed. We just couldn’t attend.

Because I shut it down.

I am one mom, who lives with three kids. Rarely do I get a break. They don’t go away every other weekend or alternating holidays.  My parents live in Chicago, so there are no local grandparents. I had to learn early on in this lifestyle, that I need to protect myself from burnout. And burnout occurs when I’ve stretched myself too thin.

Sometimes friends, in order to maintain, you must be willing to shut it down. No matter how badly you want to ________________. I thought you should fill in the blank there. 🙂

And when the universe gives you the hint that you need to shut it down, take it.

Even if you don’t want to.

A regular check-up for the teenager recently turned into a day of respiratory distress. After the initial detection that something was going on, the doctor ordered breathing tests. All of which he failed. The oxygen was just not circulating in his respiratory tract. So the breathing treatments, inhalers, and medicine began. Instantly. All at once.

After two hours with the doctors, medicine pick up, school pick up for the girls, and work (Tita helped me out so I could work  a little that day), I recognized the hint. Shut. it. down.

And the community meeting I was planning to attend that night had to go on without me.  And the twitter party had to happen without my tweets and hashtags. And Facebook had to wait until the next day.

Because we needed to shut it down. Even it we had just shut it down 2 days before. We still needed time, and I had to accept that.

And I did.

How do you handle it when there’s a lot going on in your life?