A Juggling Act


Everybody’s talking about it… this issue with keeping up the juggling act.  We’re all talking about it because we’re all struggling with it.  How do we keep all the balls in the air?  How do we juggle life as women, mothers, wives, employers, employees, bloggers…

Each of us is only one person, and there are only 24 hours in a day.  At the bare minimum we need to sleep for six of those hours (and you and I both know that eight would be better)!  Without stopping to eat we’d never get through the day, so there go another two hours.  With the hours left there are so many demands on our time.  I spend a lot of time with a lot of mums who confess that they often crash into bed at night, wondering how they’ll fit all the things they didn’t get around to doing today, into tomorrow’s schedule!  And I understand, because I’m as guilty of it as anyone.

Kate from Picklebums recently wrote about this Tricky problem, and in the same week a friend and MOPS (Mothers Of Pre Schoolers) leader posted this on facebook:


As you can imagine she received many comments.  I started writing my list for you, but deleted it because quite frankly I’m embarrassed about how long it is.  Another mum from my church who has older kids than I do and is a little further along the road than me pointed me to this article by Keri Wyatt Kent.  In it she says,

A wise friend of mine puts it this way:
“I picture myself juggling a lot of balls. Sometimes, I drop a ball. In most cases, that’s not too big of a deal. But a few of the balls, like my husband and my kids, are glass balls. So I make sure I do whatever it takes not to shatter those balls.”

Some of the balls are rubber, and will bounce if we just give them a little push now and then. Some are lead and just weigh us down and we shouldn’t be trying to juggle them in the first place.

Sometimes we have to say “no” to opportunities, to requests that other people make. The discipline of saying no, and wisdom to know when to say it, is a great challenge.

When I read that I thought she was speaking to me.  My blog is a rubber ball.  It can bounce back from a few days offline, and nobody’s world would be shattered if I didn’t post for a month.  I think housework is a rubber ball too!  I know there are balls made of lead I need to just let go of.  They are not mine to juggle.  But my husband and my kids are my glass balls.  I can’t drop them.  Ever.  My precious kids need Mummy-time almost as much as they need food to eat, and my husband deserves the best of me, not what’s left of me at 11:30pm. I’m so glad I have this visual image now to remind me of the beauty and fragility of relationships.

What are you juggling in your life?

PS – No judgemental comments.  Especially about the 6hrs sleep thing, ok?  We’re all just doing our best and trying to work things out…

11 thoughts on “A Juggling Act

  1. I really love this analogy. Family are so precious and I’ve found that when I ‘drop’ them for a few days or so, I feel more tired and unable to juggle everything else. Even though it may be the last thing I want to or have time to do, if the kids ask me to read them a book or play with them, if I stop what I’m doing and sit and read or play with them, I generally end up feeling more energised than before (even if a little more behind in the housework or whatever!). That’s just something I’ve noticed on my journey to overcoming the 100% busy 100% of the time hurdle. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the awesome post!

  2. Hey Bobo, your circus is travelling along just fine. Even if the monkey destroyed his cage and the trapeze artists wobbly does not land quite on the mat. (just trying to stick with the theme hehehe)

    I love what Keri wrote, speaks loud and clear to me too! A couple of years ago I had so many lead balls to juggle; once I got rid of those my glass balls got bigger and I am so much happier.

  3. what a fabulous analogy!
    Now if I could only get better at making decisions then maybe I’d be able to decide which balls to drop! LOL

  4. My recent break from blogging definitely clarified my blog’s place in the grand scheme of things… it is really not very important at all.
    As it seems I am about to embark on full-time employment, my glass balls seem even more precious and I will be juggling with complete care and dedication.
    I love the analogy… great post. xx

  5. christie referred me to your blog in my blog’s comment section today, after i wrote about finding the balance in life…and how tough it can get.

    It’s a great analogy..and I particularly like the part when it says my hubby deserves the best of me, not what’s left of me at 11.30pm.

    Thanks for sharing! we moms sure do face similar challenges each day, don’t we? …

  6. when the children grow into adults a mother still juggles her balls. Often she is the only person who realises this, but to her they are still ‘glass balls’. Because she has been juggling all her parenting life, she is able to add ‘son-in-law’ balls and ‘grandchildren’ balls when the time comes. A mother who chooses to juggle many glass balls is a blessing to the world.

  7. This morning I feel exhausted – but reading this over a cup of coffee(& after my less than satisfying six hours sleep!!) makes me feel better, and more understood.

    Sometimes you can feel all alone in your attempts to perfect the juggling act. Work is calling, the house is a mess, the garden needs weeding. So many things call out for attention – sometimes you feel like a mouse racing around in the middle of one of those little wheels!

    This weekend I am going to make a point of polishing the little glass balls in my life with lots of love and focussed attention.

    After the sheets and towels have made been washed and hung out. Promise.

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